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© Ray Davies

As a kid listening to top 40 radio, I loved the Kinks' popular songs. In my first year at college, I heard another Davies masterpiece, “Skin and Bones” and decided to buy one of their records. I couldn't recall the name of the album and ended up with a copy of Muswell Hillbillies. It continues to be one of my favorite recordings.

lyrics

Here's the story of a sinner
He used to be a winner
Enjoying a life of prominence and position
But the pressures at the office
His socialite engagements
His selfish wife's fanatical ambition
It turned him to the booze,
And he got mixed up with a floozie
She led him to a life of indecision
The floozie made him spend his dough
She left him lying on Skid Row
A drunken lag in some Salvation Army Mission
It's such a shame

Oh demon alcohol,
Memories I cannot recall
Who thought I would say
Damn it all and blow it all
Oh demon alcohol
Memories I cannot recall
Who thought I would fall
A slave to demon alcohol

Barley wine, pink gin
He'll drink anything
Port, Pernod or tequila
Rum, scotch, vodka on the rocks
As long as all his troubles disappear
But he messed up his life
When he beat up his wife
Now the floozie's gone and found another sucker
She's gonna turn him on to drink
She's gonna lead him to the brink
And when his money's gone
She'll leave him in the gutter
It's such a shame

Oh demon alcohol
Memories I cannot recall
Who thought I would say
Damn it all and blow it all away
Oh demon alcohol
Memories I cannot recall
Who thought I would fall
A slave to demon alcohol

credits

from Fond Desire Farewell, released April 28, 2009
Arranged and Produced by Dave Mattacks

Musicians
Debra Cowan: Vocals, Acoustic guitar on “Wall...” “Night Owl...” “Salisbury...”, English Concertina on “Rainbow”, “Night Owl”
Dave Mattacks: Drums, Cymbals, Percussion, Piano, Pump Organ, Hammered Dulcimer, Wurlitzer Piano, Toy Piano
Duke Levine: Acoustic Guitar, Mandola, National Guitar, Octave Mandolin Marty Ballou: Upright Bass Joyce Andersen: Fiddle

With: Billy Novick: Clarinet and Wolf Ginandes:Tuba on “Alcohol”
Additional Vocals: Mike Barry on “Rainbow”, “Lili...” and “Yon Green Valley”
Ruth Peterson, Mike and Julie Barry on “Darkest Hour...” Mike, Julie and Liam Barry on “Lili...”

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about

Debra Cowan Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Singer Debra Cowan performs a cappella and with guitar, interpreting a wide range of folk songs. Debra has two acclaimed solo recordings to her credit, and her third, “Fond Desire Farewell” was produced by former Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks. A former California resident, she now resides in Massachusetts and tours all over North America and the United Kingdom. ... more

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