brown line tan line
One of the most clever songwriters and quick-witted live comedians in the business... with his high speed, low-drag act that constantly changes and evolves, Pat has such strong material and improv skills, no two shows are ever the same... not even close.
seen and heard on last comic standing the howard stern show the bob and tom show schedule get tickets

One Way Down

IMG_5770I met “Princess Millionaire” (name withheld because I can’t afford another lawsuit) after a show in Sanibel, Florida, and we hit it off immediately due to our common interests: music, heartbreak, and talking about music and heartbreak. We dated for only a month or two, before I moved into one of her family’s guest houses on exclusive Star Island in Miami Beach. Usually, I make most of my relationship decisions based on a gut instinct, but that day my gut was clearly thinking below the belt. Poor, struggling, Irish Troubadour and rich, pampered, Jewish American Princess. What could possibly go wrong? The children’s song, “One Of these Things (Is Not Like The Others)” comes to mind.

As the Princess and I got to know each other AFTER we moved in together, the story of both her and my failed marriages came up—a lot. I drowned my feelings in the bottom of a shot glass back then, and kept busy by performing as much as possible to get out of the debt incurred by my lawyer ex back in Philly. She, on the other hand had been wallowing in grief and self pity after her divorce, almost to the point of harming herself. I stood there shocked one night when she told me just how far she had fallen emotionally and what she almost did to end the pain. The guest house where we stayed under the watchful eye of her smothering parents still had her old wedding photos on the wall, pictures of her ex-husband in the bedroom, and pressed dead flowers he’d given her in ornate scrapbooks and antique vases. It bothered me, but I said nothing and just grabbed another vodka and something. I too had a heart to heal, and a habit to feed. She drank and talked a lot, and I listened and drank a lot. Our late night conversations mirrored scenes from the movie, “Days of Wine and Roses”, but with me poorly cast in the reasonable Jack Lemmon role. Why I didn’t highball it back to my cheap Irish shanty back in Philadelphia, I’ll never know.

The Princess told me that after her husband left her, she nicked herself on the forearms and then showed me the marks. This is the first time that I had ever heard about cutting, let alone saw it up close. “Cutters”, as they’re called in analyst jargon, injure themselves on purpose to relieve emotional pain by making scratches or cuts on the body with a sharp object. This is why I wrote the line in my song, ‘One Way Down’, “I cut to feel and see I’m bleeding, lipstick red to match my frown.” Most people who cut are girls, but guys self-injure, too. I skipped the knife and eased my pain in more toxic ways.

A year earlier I had first-hand experience with suicide when my brother’s live-in girlfriend and my radio partner John DeBella’s ex-wife, Annette killed herself by letting the car run with the garage door closed (long story, and like I said earlier, “I can’t afford another lawsuit”). I drew on that memory to flesh my song ‘One Way Down’ out with details that were beyond the Princess’ experience. I always thought Annette’s death was a ploy to get attention and never thought her true intention was suicide, and that’s what I drew upon for the song’s final send-off, “So pay attention, because I can’t back down. My soul’s on fire.” The “my soul’s on fire” reference having to do with the Catholic Church’s stance on taking your own life, and where you burn, when you do.

The song, “One Way Down” is terrific melodically and lyrically a bit dark, but I think the two compliment each other nicely. It’s got a Pink Floyd feel to it because that’s all she played at the time and it was bound to seep in to my songwriting consciousness. By the way, if you’re ever feeling situationally depressed, you might want to stay away from booze and Pink Floyd. In combination, the two tend to act as a blues accelerant.

If I wrote this song with a woman’s eye (not literally, of course, that would be gross), and I’m in the process of recording it. If you were wondering what happened to the sad, tragic figure who inspired the song, she dumped me a week before 9/11 (the unintentional symbolism of the Twin Towers falling was not lost on me), is happily married with 4 kids, and building her 2nd home in Nantucket, RI. Take that, stupid song!

Editor’s note: Pat’s lawyer, Gary Schatzstein would like the reader to know that Mr. Godwin made this whole story up. Gary says, “He’s got an imagination on him, that guy. Great song, but the story behind it never happened—it never happened, I tell you.”

One Way Down

My love was there just for the taking
Arms were open, defenses down
Where are you while I’m shaking
In the quiet of the heart breaking sounds?

If this is it, then I’m not living
My morning suit, your wedding gown
I just can’t be so damned forgiving
One way down
One way down

So pledge allegiance to the cold, cold ground
My soul’s on fire

I cut to feel and see I’m bleeding
Lipstick red to match my frown
Yes it’s you that I’m seeking
In the madness of a mind melting down

If this is it, then I’m not breathing
Stuck alone in this cold town
I can’t stand that you are leaving me
One way down
One way down

So sign a contract with the cold, cold ground
My soul’s on fire

If this is it, then I’m not trying
This ocean’s endless, I might drown
Our pressed flowers lay there dying
One way down, one way down

So pay attention, because I can’t back down
My Soul’s on fire

horizontal rule

No comments yet

You can be the first to comment!

Leave a comment