Monday, May 3, 2010

My Feel Bad Hit Of The Winter


I wrote a song recently that I really like. It's called "Miserable". It's from a pretty bleak philosophical point of view, a sort of glass half empty, broken and falling off the table kind of song. The music has a kind of climbing and then falling sound that's actually really joyful for me to sing. And even though I can get behind what I'm saying and see literally everyone on earth as being essentially miserable, I have rarely gotten more joy out of singing a song than this one.

Something about the way the melody, rhythm, and lyrics are coming together seems to communicate for me both the inevitable underlying suffering involved in being human, the futility and inevitability of being in denial about this essential misery, and the "in spite of it all life is a miracle, seize whatever part of the day you can and taste it" feeling that is my response to these seemingly inescapable realities.

For me the joy I feel has to include the miserable to be authentic. If it's a counter to, or "transcendence" of the misery, it never feels as true to me. As the joy includes the misery, it starts getting deeper and more beautiful to me. I'm thinking, like, Billie Holiday misery and Billie Holiday beautiful. I'm nowhere near that level of course, but for me it's satisfying to even hold these things together while I'm singing, let alone go deeply into them. I guess I'm after that balance all the time. This is just my latest favorite attempt. It's still a head-case-y song but it's mine and I have to sing it. It's from my latest album, "Brand New World" and is available for downloading free or with a donation at

At the risk of it sounding like crap without the music, here's the lyrics:

Miserable by Gene Burnett (2010)

Some of you can fake it—Some of you can fake it better

But you can’t fool you—Not for a second

You’re miserable

You can stay busy—You can stay high

Open up your heart—But don’t look inside

‘Cause you’re miserable—Miserable

Winners are just slow losers—We all know it

Don’t put that horn down now—Come on and blow it

You’re miserable

It’s unhappiness that drives you forward—And it’s holding you back too

It’s the ground you’re walking on—Why not tell the truth?

You’re miserable—Miserable

To be born is to suffer—Buddha got that part right

Find the nicest way to suffer—That’s my best advice

You’re miserable

When God fights the Devil—They both win every time

They need each other to keep each other alive

‘Cause they’re miserable—Miserable

Stuck to a rock and a dying star

It’s hard to sleep with that knife in your heart

You’re miserable

You got no answers—They all fell apart

You got no horse to put before no cart

You’re miserable—Miserable

Every word’s a lie—Art is just a sham

God is just a story—Money is a scam

You’re miserable—Miserable

So everything sucks—So what?—Let the show go on

Don’t just pretend to have fun—Live a little—Come on

You’re miserable

Pretend you’re writing your part—Pretend you’re writing the whole play

The director doesn’t care what you pretend as long as you play

She’s miserable—Miserable

We’re addicted to our struggles—Whatever they may be

There’s only one solution and that is just to be



  1. I went to dinner tonight at red robbin ,I was sitting there and watching the wait staff and customers , and I thought of this "miserable" blog . everyone realy does look miserable ! ,and I am miserable to .Everyone seems to know unconsciously that the end is near ,That the partys over ,That there is more to life than who we are ,The sobering fact that we are not in controll .

  2. What I gather from this blog is that you are miserable to ,but you seem happy and joyfull ,Why?

  3. To quote Walt Whitman, "I am large. I contain multitudes." Misery and joy are not mutually exclusive and don't have to be. They come and go on their own if I let them. I've found that the surest way to make joy more fleeting is to try and hold on to it, and the surest way to make misery more lasting is to deny or try and get rid of it.

    I think everything has its own natural movement, its own unforced course. There seems to be some kind of intelligent process expressed within that movement. I find that when I don't accept myself as I actually am, in other words, if I try to be other than I am or pretend that I am other than I am, this natural movement grinds to a very slow pace. I am actually interfering with my own natural movement.

    On the other hand, when I accept myself as I am, (not like it necessarily, but accept that this is the way I am) then, oddly enough, I start to move, I start to change, and I think, in the direction of my natural self, in the direction of that natural movement that is the Way.

    To me being joyful and happy mean feeling whatever is going on with me, including misery, when that feeling is "up". There is a level of me that is always miserable. There is a level of me always joyful. But I can't force one or the other in or out of my life. I choose to let them have their time when they appear and I do my best to let them go when they're "done".

    A more simple way of saying all of the above is just this: It makes me happy to sing sad songs, it makes me happy to sing happy songs, and it makes me happy to sing songs that are both.

    Thanks, I really appreciate your comments. You got a name?

  4. Gene ,
    I have a total different set of beliefs ,I believe in Jesus . I believe that we are 100% forgiven and that there is not one thing we can do to make ourselfs any more acceptible to god than we already are ,Its all in the bible. Anyway ,Im not here to argue about beliefs or any crap like that. When I was at red robbin last weekend I realy saw how people are so miserable . Its no secret that Im miserable .I think its because heaven is gona be so much better than earth and Im stuck on earth ! I don't look forward to The pain of dying ,but I do look forward to heaven .
    Anyway , I do enjoy your songs ! You have some real talent !

  5. Thanks for being tolerant of views different from your own. I appreciate it. I think many people on this planet would realize that they actually share a great deal in common if they could just relax about the differences for a second. I'm glad you like my songs. Thanks for taking to listen to them and thanks for taking the time to tell me. Be well.

  6. Gene ,
    Just in case you ever would be interested in jesus here is a great teacher below bob george . Bob teaches the truth of the new covenant ,that jesus took away the sins of the whole world ,that we are not under the law anymore , we are 100% forgiven . and there is nothing we can do to make ourselfs any more forgiven than we already are. Lots of so called "christains" realy don't understand the finality of the cross and go around being hypocrites offending everyone but that is not what the bible teaches . god teaches us to love each other not to judge .They also go around telling everyone that "god will get them!" if they are not good . That is not true god loves us unconditionaly . Anyway I just thought I would throw that out to you. Im not trying to "change " you or any crap like that . just wanted to let you know .

    Bob george

    Bob george web site

    Books to read
    Classic Christianity
    Faith That Pleases God
    Growing in Grace: With Study Gide
    Complete in Christ: Discovering God's View of You
    He loves me
    Grace amazing

  7. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm happy with my current religion, such as it is, but I appreciate your support. Be well. GB

  8. Oh ,Ok .No problem . Like I said Im not trying to change anyone .I just gently tell them about gods unconditional love and total freedom thru Jesus ,and try to help them steer clear of false christian teachings and religious bondage .

    Your songs are great !

  9. I like jump you fuckers ,were all going to die ,Im not gay but I dont like girls , and the hippie song lol all great songs .
    keep em commin !

  10. Will do! I'm just finishing work on a new CD that should be up on line within a couple of weeks or so. Take care, GB

  11. Awesome ! Cant wait !

  12. I think the hippie song didgeridont is a highly creative song and realy shows your skill as a song writer