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Steely Dan - Deacon Blues

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Published on Jul 10, 2012

According to Wikipedia:

"Deacon Blues" is a song by Steely Dan from their 1977 album Aja. It peaked at number 19 in the Billboard charts.[1]

The song, while contrasting winning and losing in life, does so by taking as an image the contrast between the perennial powerhouse, Crimson Tide football team, and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. In the five years before the song was written, the Crimson Tide had lost only 8 games total, while Wake Forest had a losing record every season. Group member Donald Fagen said, "Walter (Becker) and I had been working on that song at a house in Malibu. I played him that line, and he said, 'You mean it's like, they call these cracker assholes this grandiose name like the Crimson Tide, and I'm this loser, so they call me this other grandiose name, Deacon Blues?' And I said, 'Yeah!' He said, 'Cool! Let's finish it!'"[2]

In a 1994 AOL chat interview with Becker, someone asked him about the inspiration for "Deacon Blues". He answered, "It was an outgrowth of a specific mood that pertained at a given time," and later added, "...I remember the night that we mixed that one thinking that it was really good and wanting to hear it over and over which is never the case."[3]

"Deacon Blues" was Steely Dan's fifth Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US, where it peaked at #19 in 1978. The song remained in the Top 40 for eight weeks.[4]

The Scottish pop/rock band Deacon Blue are thought to have taken their name from this song.[5] William Gibson's book Mona Lisa Overdrive features a gang called the Deacon Blues.

Lyrics:


This is the day
Of the expanding man
That shape is my shade
There where I used to stand
It seems like only yesterday
I gazed through the glass
At ramblers
Wild gamblers
That's all in the past

You call me a fool
You say it's a crazy scheme
This one's for real
I already bought the dream
So useless to ask me why
Throw a kiss and say goodbye
I'll make it this time
I'm ready to cross that fine line

CHORUS:
I'll learn to work the saxophone
I'll play just what I feel
Drink Scotch whisky all night long
And die behind the wheel
They got a name for the winners in the world
I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues

My back to the wall
A victim of laughing chance
This is for me
The essence of true romance
Sharing the things we know and love
With those of my kind
Libations
Sensations
That stagger the mind

I crawl like a viper
Through these suburban streets
Make love to these women
Languid and bittersweet
I'll rise when the sun goes down
Cover every game in town
A world of my own
I'll make it my home sweet home

CHORUS

This is the night
Of the expanding the man
I take one last drag
As I approach the stand
I cried when I wrote this song
Sue me if I play too long
This brother is free
I'll be what I want to be

CHORUS

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