09 November 2007


For two days I have had these lines stuck in my head:
Don't worry about me
I'm about to die of pleurisy
The lines were written by Jack Kerouac in a song (which you can hear him sing here) that Tom Waits later adapted. There are two very different recordings of the Waits song that I know of: a sad, weary version included on Orphans (listen here) and a lively collaboration with Primus (from the album Jack Kerouac Reads on the Road; mp3 here).

Before I ever looked at a transcription of the lyrics, I heard the line "Well the worms eat away but don't worry watch the wind" as "Oh the worms eat away, but the worry warts will win". I still like my version.

In any case, I don't think I'm about to die of pleurisy. I like the word, though, especially since it reminds me of Laura in The Glass Menagerie, who was nicknamed Blue Roses because someone misheard her when she said she had pleurosis.