Song of the Day #1,516: ‘Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk’ – Rufus Wainwright

The next ‘Piano Man’ who occupies a strand of my musical genome is the loved-by-me, loathed-by-everybody-around-me Rufus Wainwright.

Wainwright uses quite a bit of acoustic guitar, not to mention orchestral music and horns, in his music but at heart he is a tickler of the ivories. Look no further than his sixth studio album, All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu, which featured nothing but his piano and vocals.

It’s ironic that he doesn’t fall into the ‘Folk Rock Derivative’ category because he is literally derived from two folk rock singers, Loudon Wainwright III and Martha Wainwright. And though he has covered his father’s songs and included his mother (and sister) on his records, his style is far more baroque.

Wainwright does write his share of ‘Pure Pop,’ however, delivering at least a few songs per album that would be in heavy radio rotation in an alternate universe where talent trumps banality. And he is most definitely ‘Melancholy,’ sometimes annoyingly so.

When in the right mood, Wainwright’s beautiful whine works like soothing bath salts. Other times, not so much. Rufus is one of those artists who I always have to listen to alone because the non-believers around me hear him with a different set of ears.

I liken it to drinking wine. I hate wine, and I believe that’s because my taste buds just work differently than those of wine lovers. There’s no way they are experiencing the same physical sensation I am but just happen to enjoy it. They taste something different, something good.

Rufus Wainwright is my fine wine. Everybody else winds up with a bitter taste in their mouths.

Cigarettes and chocolate milk
These are just a couple of my cravings
Everything it seems I like’s a little bit stronger
A little bit thicker, a little bit harmful for me

If I should buy jellybeans
Have to eat them all in just one sitting
Everything it seems I like’s a little bit sweeter
A little bit fatter, a little bit harmful for me

And then there’s those other things
Which for several reasons we won’t mention
Everything about ’em is a little bit stranger, a little bit harder
A little bit deadly

It isn’t very smart
Tends to make one part
So brokenhearted

Sitting here remembering me
Always been a shoe made for the city
Go ahead accuse me of just singing about places
With scrappy boys faces have general run of the town

Playing with prodigal sons
Take a lot of sentimental valiums
Can’t expect the world to be your Raggedy Andy
While running on empty you little old doll with a frown

You got to keep in the game
Retaining mystique while facing forward
I suggest a reading of Lessoon in Tightropes
Or urfing Your High Hopes or dios Kansas

It isn’t very smart
Tends to make one part
So brokenhearted

Still there’s not a show on my back
Holes or a friendly intervention
I’m just a little bit heiress, a little bit Irish
A little bit Tower of Pisa
Whenever I see ya
So please be kind if I’m a mess

Cigarettes and chocolate milk
Cigarettes and chocolate milk

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,516: ‘Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk’ – Rufus Wainwright

  1. Dana says:

    Well, yes, it is about the wine and the whine. But don’t put me in the hater camp. I love today’s song and appreciate Wainwright’s talents. However, at times I find his vocal style not only whiny but too theatrical for my personal taste.

  2. Andrea Katz says:

    I love him for the brilliant rendition of Hallelujah (how do you spell that?)
    I Will give him a listen here. Don’t you sometimes enjoy being in the m
    inority position in loving an artist that few others appreciate?

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