june is gay pride month so i thought i’d post a lyric i wrote not long after coming out in the mid-70s … at the time i was writing lyrics for and managing a duo called jade & sarsaparilla comprised of janet hood and linda langford … trust me on this — they truly were the greatest group you never heard … they were in a relationship at the time and we wrote into that … it was also when the watergate scandal was unfolding … so i combined all those influences into a country-western song which was recorded on jade & sarsaparilla’s album (soon to be re-released — watch this space for details)

thought i had a problem
thought that i was sick
a ludicrous idea
in a country run by dick
first ran to the preacher
then ran to the shrink
they said, “you need repair work
your love is out of sync!”

mother was embarrassed
father was upset
they wanted me committed
or treated by a vet
i refused both invitations
and ran into your arms
knowing i was damned to hell
when heaven sent your charms

and i need a drink of water in my mind
it’s dirty from the way our love’s defined
can’t seem to get it clean with smoke or wine
and i need to drink your water in my mind

i could not live without you
i had to live in shame
guilty and embarrassed
that our plumbing was the same
a camera caught us playing
the plumber was a spy
in the eye of the beholder
is where perversion lies

in this lonesome cell i realized
that something was amiss
something very different
from the rightness of our kiss
it’s a major revelation
that the world itself is lewd
and it ain’t just by each other
that we are being screwed!

and i need a drink of water in my mind
it’s dirty from the way our love’s defined
can’t seem to get it clean with smoke or wine
yes i need to drink your water in my mind

posted by admin on June 1, 2003, at 1:00 am | filed under poetry | 10 Comments »

10 Responses

  1. Gregg

    I think of your song often – it is truly wonderful. I believe I have heard re-recordings of some the other songs you wrote on that album. Has the album ever been re-released? I have an old vinyl copy that I bought at a concert in ’76 or ’77 but over many moves it has warped a bit. I’d happily buy it again, hopefully in MP3/iTunes or CD format.

  2. carol

    I costumed the girls for a Halloween show – I was working for the Boston Opera – They were great performers, fun people, wondered what happened to them, still listen to their album. Boston in the 70’s for a blues fan -the best place to misspend one’s youth. Remember the Speakeasy in Central Square?

  3. Karen

    Will there be an album re-release – CD or MP3? I worked one summer at the Depot Restaurant and Maureen’s at the Depot where I got to see you and Linda and Janet a lot. That album has seen me through a lot of heartache over the last 30 years and it’s a *little* worse for the wear. I’d love to be able to replace it.

  4. Rone Barton

    My mother Beth wore that song out when I was a kid. I grew up on Jade and Sarsparilla and just loved “I’d Like to Be.” J&S’s rich harmonies in that song affected the way I approached certain vocal parts in my own compositions.

    Thank you for everything, Bill.

  5. Maureen

    I too have the album and saw Jade and Sasparilla several times. I would love to purchase a cd or download the music.

    Please let me know when it is available

  6. Jamie Anderson

    I love this song. Used to cover it.

    I’m currently writing a book about women’s music. It wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Jade and Sarsaparilla.

    May I quote some of the lyrics for the book? If yes, how should I credit it?


  7. Christina

    I knew the chorus by heart but thanks for posting all the lyrics here. It was a good song reflecting less-just times (and for some a crazy/cruel present as well).

  8. Christina

    Homosexuality stopped being prosecuted as a crime during my young adulthood, but this whole denunciation and deprogramming thing of course continues to brutalize people. I love the observation that lewdness/perversion can be in the eye of the beholder.

  9. patricia

    brian faunce introduced me to bill, janet and linda, spent many a night at their home. such wonderful memories. my album was well loved and lost somewhere between marriages. please please please publish a cd

  10. bill

    perfect timing!

    the jade & sarsaparilla album is be re-released on tuesday! here: Amoeba.com


Leave a Comment

Your comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.