"I NEVER SLEPT WITH ALLEN GINSBERG' was inspired by a visit the poet made to the 'West Virginia Writer's Inc.' Conference in the early 1980s, at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center. I covered his visit as a cub reporter for the Huntington Herald-Dispatch, interviewing him that afternoon. I hung around for a late-night session around a bonfire at which Allen pulled out a small Indian squeezebox. We ended the night singing William Blake's 'Nurse's Song' set to the music of his squeezebox, a raggedy chorus of voices singing: ''And all the hills echo-ed... And all the hill echo-ed...' Additional inspiration came from hearing Greg Brown's song 'Rexroth's Daughter' one night while driving in my car. 'Hey, I should try to write a cool narrative tune like that ...'


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LEAD VOCAL: Douglas Imbrogno
BACKING VOCAL:
Gar Ragland
GUITAR:
Douglas Imbrogno
PERCUSSION:
Ammad Solomon
BASS:
Gar Ragland
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MORE LYRICS...



All songs by Douglas Imbrogno (except 'Lights' by Rebecca Skeen Webb, 'Rosie's Lullaby,' by Bob Webb and 'Scarborough Fair,' traditional) Copyright 2004.

 

"I NEVER SLEPT WITH ALLEN GINSBERG"
words & music by Douglas Imbrogno (copyright 2004)
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Allen plays the squeezebox while we pass a joint around/ Singing poetry of William Blake while sitting on the ground/ Talking of the Rockefellers, how they rule the roost/ with their ancient dirty dollars and the power it produced...

CHORUS:

I never slept with Allen Ginsberg, but I miss him still / Yet I visit with him now and then -- Guess I always will.

The campfire spits a dozen sparks, they glow like fireflies/ Above our heads a thousand stars lie frozen in the skies/ I have no place to sleep tonight, I didn't get a room/ I will lay my head beside this blaze as if it were a womb.

CHORUS:

I'm just a tourist in his world, a poet of his times/ About all I can offer are these verses and these rhymes.

I ask about Jack Kerouac."'I loved him," he replies/ He gazes at me smartly with those drooping, knowing eyes/ I tell him of a favorite line of poetry he wrote: 'The million unutterable thoughts of frogs...'/ "Jack gave me that," he notes.

With just a single gesture I cold maybe share his bed/ But it's not his body that I want, but what's inside his head.

The campfire burns to ember, everybody goes to sleep/ In a marijuana vision, I see things that seem so deep/ Trees arround the conference ground, raise up their limbs in praise/ For the everlasting holy moment of these holy days

CHORUS:

I never slept with Allen Ginsberg, but I miss him still / Yet I visit with him now and then -- Guess I always will.

Twenty years beyond that night, I lay in reverie/ With "Mind Breaths" and "Plutonian Ode's" erotic poetry/ I could have been a poem, brought some comfort to the man/ But I was just a timid boy, I was just a wide-eyed fan...

CHORUS:

I never slept with Allen Ginsberg, but I miss him still / Yet I visit with him now and then -- Guess I always will

I never slept with Allen Ginsberg, but I miss him still / Yet I visit with him now and then -- Guess I always will.