An Ounce of Possession; A Pound of Flesh

 ... Satan sneered and said " I've sure got something special for you, brother..." 
... he had whisky in one hand, and cocaine in the other... 
... I stuttered out the strains of some old sacred song; tried to start a cigarette... 
... said: "I don't intend to stay too long with 'friends' I can't trust yet..." 

... I called on Jesus, just to jam the airwaves for a while... 
... Satan's voice grew softer, broke into a sinful smile... 
... said: "Don't go asking favours of Him you chose to refuse... 
... it's time to pay the piper, now... you're gonna hear some blues!..." 

... I stood whisky-whipped, broken and stripped; of every ounce of human pride... 
... I should have seen it comin' when my first woman up and walked away from my side... 
... but I wanted my dreams, and now it seems some of them are comin' true... 
... I wake up from hellish nightmares, and the 'real world' is just as blue... ( oh, so blue...) 

... I cried: "Satan, show some mercy; take that cold hand off my arm... 
... I couldn't feel no worse, you can't do me no more harm... 
... my fever couldn't grow no higher, were you to heap on the coal... 
... I've nothing you desire, now... that woman stole my soul!... ( oh, my soul...) 

... so pack up all your whorish trappings, take your business someplace else... 
... don't hang around to see what happens; I can take my own pulse... 
... I owe the Good Lord a few apologies; it's high time I looked Him up... 
... hat in hand, down upon my knees; spare me this bitter cup..." 

... Satan laughed at me; and said: "We'll see..." - vanished in a cloud of smoke... 
... left me wondering if feeling 'free' was some sort of unholy joke... 
... when out of the night, a shaft of light; broke upon me, warm and kind... 
... and a voice said: ..."Son... there's no harm done... take your time... and make your own mind..." 

...well... the lyric to "An Ounce of Possession; a Pound of Flesh"... a little cryptic apocalyptic ditty from the old days on Vancouver's 'Lower East Side'... playing the dives for the junkies, hookers and pimps... before crack cocaine hit big and heroin (and booze, of course) reigned supreme... leaflets nailed to back alley posts that read: "There is more to life than needles, jails, and pills..." ... the band was called "Stand and Deliver!"; after the old highwayman call... not strictly autobiographical, of course; but you get the drift... yet another instance of making it through dire circumstance with " a clear cut case of more luck than brains..."... (sometimes I think that is the story of my life...)... Christmas in the Blackstone Hotel, where the elevator opened to my floor and a blood red inscription on the wall facing declared: "KKK RULES!"... the irony of being involved with three women whose names all stared with the letter "K" not being entirely lost on yours truly... the setting for the short story that salvaged an English credit at a later college situation: "Fuck Christmas, Carol!"... but that, of course; is 'another story'. 
This song can (can't?) be found on the 1990 'O'Toole and Friends- Live at Artspace'; which will be 're-released' at some point when my ever so helpful producer pal (and bassist in the 'Assassin's Hotel Orchestra') Andy Pryde gets around to running the original tapes through whatever digital re-mastering gear of the moment. Eventually those songs (and lyrics) will show up on this page. The song came to me the other night like a succubus in the shadows... so I thought I'd 'share'. love to all, d.

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