Song of the Day #3,859: ‘One Down (Live)’ – Ben Folds

Ben Folds is such a good songwriter that he can’t deliver a bad tune even when he wants to.

‘One Down’ is about a time Folds’ record company required him to write 4.6 songs in order to fulfill his contract. Apparently he received .4 worth of credit for an earlier co-written song.

He shit this one out (as he colorfully puts it) to chip away at the obligation.

And, wouldn’t you know it, it’s a lovely song. The piano work is typically wonderful and the lyrics are cleverly self-reflective. He goes for the most trite, cliched romantic pablum in the bridge and still makes it sound good.

[Verse 1]
I woke up and I drove to work
On the wrong side of the road
And what the hell would I do
I must admit, I didn’t know
And Andrew came along y’all
To add a couple lines or so
I’ve got one I finished yesterday
And I got three-point-six to go

One down
And three-point-six
And I’m outta here
One down
And three-point-six
And I’m out of here

[Verse 2]
People tell me Ben, just make up junk and turn it in
But I never was alright with turning in
A bunch of shit
I don’t like wasting time
On music that won’t make me proud
But now I’ve found a reason
To sit right down and shit some out


I love you more than
Any man has loved before
I love you more than
All the stars up in the sky
I think that we should
Settle down and live happily forever…
What do you think of that?

[Verse 3]
I’m really not complaining
I realise it’s just a job
And I hate hearing belly-aching rock stars
Whine and sob
Cause I could be busing tables
I could well be pumping gas
Yeah, but I get paid much finer
For playing piano and kissing ass
This is one I wrote just an hour ago
And three-point-six at last


One thought on “Song of the Day #3,859: ‘One Down (Live)’ – Ben Folds

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’ve heard this song a number of times but had no idea what the reference to “one down and 3.6 tomorrow” was. This is SOTD trivia at its best! Thanks, Clay!

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