CUT#11: "Stress"


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"Stress" was written with my long-time pal Mark Rex (who also recorded the dive video soundtrack with me) and was one of those rare "quickies" that sort of wrote itself one day last August. This is the most recent tune recorded for the album. In the process of recording this tune we were interrupted again and again by one thing or another. My wife Jane was outside doing some brush clearing with the chain saw and every 5 minutes I would have to stop the tape to go outside and re-start the chain saw for her. Finally, at one point I commented that a song called "Stress" SHOULD be recorded under stress! It just seemed to fit! I even wrote a line which is dedicated to Jane ("I know how to do it - - take a chain saw to it!"), and by the way, that's a REAL chain saw you hear in the song. But my all-time favorite line is "Got me eatin' chop suey.... Still playin' 'Louie, Louie'" That one line SAYS SO MUCH about life as a musician, and every musician who has heard that line can't help but smile a knowing smile when they hear it. When my teenage son came home from school that afternoon as we were putting the finishing touches on it, he looked at me and said "Who's THAT?" When I told him, he said "Gee Dad, I didn't know you could RAP!"

(Bob Ketchum)

When your bills pile up and you don't know what to do
Lay in bed every night and it gets the best of you
Like a big black cloud, hangin' over your life
You toss and turn until you wake up the wife

I'm 90 days late and my house payments' due
I got two teenagers and their car payments too
My mind's overloadin' with everything I owe
I even hate the lawn 'cause I know I need to mow

STRESS- I gotta' lot of pain
STRESS- Like a ball and chain
STRESS- Ties my stomach in a knot
STRESS- It's as heavy as a rock

I couldn't eat dinner 'cause the pain's still there
Like a hundred hamburgers cooked medium rare
Got a pain in my chest and I'm wide awake
I'm itchin' all over and I'm startin' to shake

The car's runnin' rough and the tire just blew
Got a second extension on the power bill, too
Can't stand the pressure and I wanna' give in
Gonna' get a casket, lemme' take her for a spin

STRESS- Takes me to the limit
STRESS- I can't seem to dim it
STRESS- Got me eatin' chop suey
STRESS- Still playin' "Louie Louie"

I lay in bed and stare up at the ceiling
I'm having nightmares and I'm rockin' & reeling
Rubbing' my chest to try and make it go away
I'm wide awake 'till I see the light of day

Tryin' to sleep but the phone keeps ringin'
just dozed off but the doorbells' dingin'
backin' up a project and the power's gone down
just makes me feel like I wanna' leave town

STRESS- Keeps my stomach churnin'
STRESS- I can feel the acid burnin'
STRESS- I know how to do it
STRESS- Take a chainsaw to it

Got a shut-off notice on the telephone bill
Glasses need changed and some teeth to fill
The wife wrecked her car over 50 miles away
and the drive-up window just closed for the day

My credit card's full and the plumbing needs repair
I need a bigger belt and I'm losin' my hair
I'm old and tired and past 51
And to top it all off I got a brand, new son

STRESS- Don't let it get to ya'
STRESS- It'll really screw ya'
STRESS- It'll take you right down
STRESS- wind up in the ground
STRESS- you just gotta' fight it
STRESS- if there's a wrong ya' gotta' right it
STRESS- piles up every day
STRESS- it goes a long, long way

Bob Ketchum (drums, bass, guitars, percussion, vocals & sampled effects)
Mark Rex (guitars & backing vocals)

Dime-A-Dozen Music (BMI) - 1999.





HYPE Records
#17 CR 830

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