Smart Kid (Fast Demo)

The Song

Wrote the bulk of this song (which eventually became the title track for our second Nettwerk record) while waiting to play at a celtic festival in one of those Colorado mountain towns. I think it was Keystone. When the band learned it, this was the arrangement. The slowed down version which we eventually recorded was happened upon accidentally during rehearsal (we actually posted both versions on the site, back in the day, to solicit input on which one we should record for the album, so if you’ve been visitng our site a while this may sound familiar). Both versions were almost identical other than the change in tempo/groove, and the final recording didn’t differ much either (the verse melody was smoothed out, this version seems pretty annoying by contract, that’s about it).

The first part of the song is autobiographical. There was a church on the corner, where my Dad was a deacon. It was basketballs, not hymnals, that were thrown on the roof one night. I was accused, by Ernie Walker, and my mom did defend me. But that’s as far as it goes.

The Lyrics

SMART KID (Chris Jonat)
(these are the lyrics as they appear on the demo, they are slightly different on the final recording – for example, Suzie’s name doesn’t change to Lisa for no reason at all on the CD)

There’s a church on the corner where my daddy was a deacon
And every Wednesday night was the youth group meeting
One week someone through some hymnals on the roof
Well they figured it was me but they didn’t have no proof
My mom stuck up for me, for once she was right
I wasn’t even at the church most of the night
Showed up at the start, made an appearance at the end
Rest of the time, spent it drinking with my friends

Sometimes trouble finds you, sometimes you spark it
You may come out on the right side, but that don’t make you the smart kid

So James and Suzie and Grant and me
Got a pretty good buzz splitting a micky
My head thumped a little, Lisa’s stomach got queasy
But compared to James we all got off easy
Cause when Jamie got home and the door was locked
He didn’t want to wake his folks so he decided to walk
Downtown someone offered and he tried it for kicks
Two weeks later James was just another addict

Sometimes trouble finds you, sometimes you spark it
You may come out on the right side, but that don’t make you the smart kid

Don’t try to tell me you never once drove with too much to drink
Or tried to outrun a train
Driving too fast in the rain
You just got lucky when you forgot to think

Last time I saw James must be back ten years
He was just out of rehab and sticking to beer
Told him I felt guilty as we tossed back a few
He said I shouldn’t worry, he was clean and new
Now I’m traveling with a band, I guess I’m doing alright
Grant’s a junior partner, Sue’s a happy housewife
James , you could say, is working for the government
Doing 8 to 12, for possession with intent

Sometimes trouble finds you, sometimes you spark it
You may come out on the right side, but that don’t make you the smart kid

No, you’re not the smart kid
Don’t think you’re the smart kid