Song of the Day #1,772: ‘Running Out of Ink’ – Barenaked Ladies

barenaked_ladies_are_menToday’s Random Weekend selection is a neat little song from the last proper Barenaked Ladies album, Barenaked Ladies Are Men.

After this record was released, co-songwriter and co-lead singer Steven Page left the band to pursue a solo career (resulting in one excellent album, Page One, so far). The band put out another album but the reviews were so tepid I didn’t even bother listening to it.

I lost so much enthusiasm for the band after Page’s absence, in fact, that they were recently playing live at a festival about 200 yards from where I was standing and rather than walk over to listen, my family and I went in the opposite direction to look at art and check out the children’s play area.

I did feel a little nostalgic hearing ‘The Old Apartment,’ from the band’s third album, drifting over from the show. It’s a shame when good bands break up but keep on going, half-formed.

I stopped into a club
I thought I’d see a show
Everyone was there
At least everyone I know
Their knickers in a knot
Their hands upon their heart
The best they’d ever seen
The greatest work of art
I wished that it was me

It’s bleaker than you think
I’m running out of ink
Give a guy a break
This is what it takes
To drive a man to drink

A party at a friend’s
Toronto’s coolest scene
I thought I’d bring a tape
To show them where I’d been
And listen for a while
The lyrics made them smile
They said that it was fine
Although it’s not the style
I said it wasn’t me

Once upon a time
I couldn’t get enough
Until I made it big
And that’s when it got rough
Disappointed now
Perhaps a bit surprised
To look them in the face
And see it in their eyes
They wish it wasn’t me

It’s bleaker than you think
I’m running out of ink
Give a guy a break
This is what it takes
To drive a man to drink

I used to hold you close
You used to tell me things
You never told a soul
Until you heard me sing
The details of your life
Condensed into a song
The neighbor and his wife
Work out and sing along
And you can’t look at me

It’s bleaker than you think
I’m running out of ink
Give a guy a break
This is what it takes
To drive a man to drink

Could song be an alibi
A lyric replacement for falling in love
But now that the well is dry
I can’t understand what I’ve been singing of

Do you know what it is to love?
To really love?
To really love.
Do I?

I cycled by your house
I saw you on the lawn
I see you all the time
Now that you are gone
I tried to call your name
But something made me stop
I called you once a day
Until you called the cops
And told them it was me

I filled a plastic bag
With everything I wrote
I threw it off a bridge
And thought that it would float.
The water made it sink
The bag was bleeding ink.
I wished that I could swim
I wished that I could drink
I wished that it was me.

It’s bleaker than you think
I’m running out of ink
Give a guy a break
This is what it takes
To drive a man to drink
I’m running out of ink
Give a guy a break
This is what it takes
To drive a man to drink
To drive a man to drink
To drive a man to drink

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One thought on “Song of the Day #1,772: ‘Running Out of Ink’ – Barenaked Ladies

  1. Dana says:

    Seems like a major Costello influence on this song, which is, of course, not a bad thing in my book. Interesting bridge also.

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