The Real World

“My name is Marques but all my imaginary friends call me Skippy. And this is a little song I like to play for all my friends. A little story I like to tell all my friends imaginary and real. I hope you’re among one of them two. It’s called The Real World.”

-Introduction from a live performance on 9 Jun 1989

Well there was this especially erotic parcel of acreage
I grew up with, where the gently rolling hillocks
Kissed the curvaceous and classically Grecian lines
Of a mound – a mound that some people tried to tell me was made
Out of black earth, you know, but I always contended that  it was
More likely to be Venus, ’cause it always seemed kind of
Venusian in nature to me, as I’d be cuddled up in that cozy little furrow
With the heady must of  mom nature ovulating in my olfactory.
And then I’d hear this big voice behind me, yelling,
“Kid, get your mind out of the dirt, you got work to do.”
And I’d say, “Yes sir, yes sir. Three bags full.”
Then I would pick up my shovel and attempt to deal
With the real world.

You’re in the real world now,
You better straighten your tie,
Put your thumb on the plumb,
And put your face in the pie.
Watch your daydreams die.
They squirm and they squeal
In the real world.

And even though my first heroes were bus drivers,
My first dream was to become a professional athlete.
And I woulda been and I coulda been if my body had ever developed
Beyond the larval stage. But it didn’t of course and so here I am,
Doin’ what I’m doin’, because doin’ what I’m doin’ doesn’t require a lot of physical
Or intellectual capabilities. You just get up here and you do it
And you hope you get away with it. I mean, some people say it takes a little bit of
Soul, like spirit. And some people say it takes a little bit of
Chromosome damage. But whatever it is, I got me a little,
And it gets me to the Church on time.  And when I get there I hear this
Big voice behind me yelling, “Marques – get your mind out of the dirt,
You got work to do.” And I say “Yes sir, yes sir, you know
My mind is full of words.  And if I could ever settle down
On about six or seven of  ’em and sing ’em over and over and over again,
Against the finely polished backdrop of a well wrought popular
Culture musical memory maker, I might hit the ‘Big Time’ sometime, you know.”
But I hate, I detest, I cannot stand, I categorically, empirically and
Emphatically deny the fact that I will ever repeat myself.
With a special dispensation being made for the next chorus of course.

repeat chorus

And the real world said, “It’s time to  make your bed.
And brush your teeth vertically and pull a comb through your head.
Put the wood in the shed. Call up your Uncle Ed and thank him
For that very nice flannel shirt that he gave you last Christmas.
And stop playin’ with yourself. You gotta stop playin’ with yourself
And you gotta line up all of your imaginary friends and shoot them
Executioner style, right through their imaginary little foreheads,
(All  imaginary blood and imaginary gore).”
And real world screams, “It’s the dirt nap for your dreams
And your horny little schemes.  And there ain’t no hot summer day
With your bare feet in the cold stream. You know that don’t exist.
That does not exist.”  The real world insists that these things do not exist
Because they do not exist in triplicate.  “And besides, we think they may have been
Lost when the computers went down. And it’s really not our department anyway,
Have you spoken with the Central Office about this alleged problem you’ve been
Allegedly having, Mr. Ovary, is it? Yeah I’ve heard of you.
Well, have a nice day anyway and don’t forget that
You’re in the real world now.
You’re in the real world now.
You’re in the real world.”

repeat chorus

They go, “Wee, wee, wee, wee, wee” all the way home…
All the way home.


“The Real World” appears on Don’t Be Afraid and Faith is a Muscle.

© & ℗ 1989, 1998 by Marques Bovre