Tag Archives: Egyptian ska

LYRICS // Tequila Mockingbird Pie (1998)

My first full-time job after university was as a bookseller at Sussex University Bookshop. Retail is always low paid, so I was always out of pocket, but I tend to look back on my time there very fondly. I was surrounded by stacks upon stacks of fascinating books, the shop was mostly patronised by female students and there was a most unusual cast list amongst the staff. It would provide enough material for a book in its own right! I also managed to get a pint in every lunchtime with a good mate that also worked with me and I developed a sideline as a window display artist there too. Good times.

One day, we received a stack of literary-related mugs to serve as merchandising and the title of one of them particularly struck me – ‘Tequila Mockingbird’ (depicting a mockingbird in a sombrero, or something like that). I took that line, baked it a little and the song ‘Tequila Mockingbird Pie’ was born – another example of wordplay and punning in a song lyric.

I was particularly happy with this set of lyrics, which included references to a former squeeze, the town I was in, Noah’s Ark and reggae!

In my student days, I’d often crash out on the couch after a session and wake up the following morning still wearing what I’d had on the night before. This provided the first verse. The second verse referred to Brighton, which was a place that seemed to have a progressive musical culture and a retro fashion one combined. The line about the ‘narcoleptic insomniac’ (a contradiction in terms, of course) was lifted from some TV interview with Ringo Starr in which he claimed to be just that.

When the song became a part of The Zamora‘s repertoire, it turned into some kind of bouncy, Egyptian ska type number. It was great fun to perform, but was generally done with a little tongue in cheek! The song was only recorded as a rough studio demo, and can be downloaded here.

Photo of Dom & Justin of The Zamora by Dan Paton.

Tequila Mockingbird Pie

Woke up in my clothes again,
Must have slept through the whole weekend.
Don’t know if I’m up or down,
Or if I’ve still got to pretend.

Parade in your sounds of tomorrow,
Dress in your clothes of yesterday.
The sun may have gone back in,
But I’ll still be sitting here making hay.

Running away with a tequila mockingbird,
Tryin’ to find my way back home.
Gave it away on a familiar block, I heard.
Couldn’t seem to leave it alone…Alone.

Couldn’t get to sleep last night,
I just lay there staring into space.
Baby, you were out like a light,
But you opened your eyes when I leaned to kiss your face.

I’m a narcoleptic insomniac,
Who can’t seem to find his way back.
‘Cause I’ve spent too much of my time,
Away from the beaten track.

Running away with a tequila mockingbird,
Tryin’ to find my way back home.
Gave it away on a familiar block, I heard.
Couldn’t seem to leave it alone…Alone.

Like a moth to a flame.
A hunter to game.
An aspirin to pain.
A face without a name.

Tell me what you were dreaming of,
Was I the olive branch or the dove?
I know it’ll never be,
‘Cause it’s too much too soon now to love.

Tried to scratch at the clouds in my hair,
Knowing that we can’t get any higher.
I saw your streets run with blood and fire,
Starting your own riot, you know I’ll always admire.

Running away with a tequila mockingbird,
‘Bout time I left it alone.
Took it all back in the usual way, I heard,
Guess I found my way back home.

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Filed under 1998, Lyrics, The Zamora