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"How To Get - And Stay - Famous"

[ from the album "Ping Pong" (1997) ]

Lyrics

Lord, tell me how long it's going to take me to get famous?
Will it take a week in vaudeville, a season in pantomime
Two years on the West End stage, a decade or maybe more?
Because I can't afford to wait 'til I'm dribbling, bald, toothless, spineless and brainless
I don't believe in your afterlife and your posterity
But, if they exist, I must be at least half the way there
And Lord, what if it takes a decade?
I am no longer young
Show me the road to fame, Lord, show me that road
Or just the road to the next whiskey bar

And Lord, what will it take, what will it take to get me to be and to stay famous?
Am I going to have to sell my soul to the stylists and the tailors of this world
If I'm not to go down in history as one of the failures?
Lord, teach me the boy band dance routines
Above all teach me to be tame, bland, blind and blameless
Cos that's the hardest thing of all, to be aggressive and yet remain harmless
To edit out my impure thoughts when you know so well, Lord, that I'm shameless
Principled, amoral, provocative, confrontational and shameless

And Lord, how long did it take you to get famous?
After you'd created this fantastic planet and all the animals upon it
That creep about upon its surface
It must've taken a million years or more before
Anyone even thought to give a name to the nameless
And then, in the blinking of an eye the backlash came
The cynics crowded round saying you didn't even exist
Oh, fashion is fickle, Lord, you know that more than I do
The backlash always comes, no matter what you've done
Created a world or that difficult third album

And the Lord said:

"Don't ask me, I have no idea
All I know how to do is how to hide
How to hide and disappear"

Lord tell me, where will it take me, what strange place will it take me, being famous?
Am I destined to be rich beyond the wildest dreams of men?
Will I rest at last between the breasts and legs of delicate oriental girls, and make babies?
Will I be transported back to the house where I was born in a limousine twenty foot long
While a crowd stands by foaming at the mouth like dogs with rabies?
Will I be borne on the shoulders of the crowd?
Will I be taken from the back of the stadium to the front of the stadium to the back of the stadium
Tossed around and shocked by what was allowed?

And Lord, who do you have to sleep with in this town
Who do you have to go down on to get famous?
Lord tell me what soundtracks do I have to do, what drugs do I have to do, how old is too old
How many free copies should I give away with every album sold?
I'm not trying to say I'm fit to dine at your table
All I'm saying is we all use the same tricks if we're able

Lord, I have friends, I've watched them, one by one, become famous
While they complimented me on my songs, I smiled in my corner alone
Watched their inner birds spread their wings and fly
Though I had an inner bird too, Lord, you know, mine remained a swan in cellophane
Trapped under a glass ceiling, a bird in a transparent cage
Lord, why do this to me? Why let me die having given me a bird and never let it fly?
Lord, why? Why?

And Lord, tell me, how long did it take you to get famous?
You who sent your dearly beloved son down to walk the planet earth and be amongst us?
You who chose to give him sensational powers so he could do tricks much better than ours
And work miracles to impress us?
Lord, you did it for the publicity, I know, I understand
But then the backlash came, we turned on your son and he was slain
No matter what you've done, the backlash always comes
Created a world, given your son, or your difficult third album

And the Lord said:

"Don't ask me, I have no idea
All I know how to do is how to hide ..... and disappear"

So I said:

"Lord, if that is all you can say to me
Share with me the secret of your immaculate obscurity"