Propensity For Misfortune

I am going with a reversal of RayNotBradbury’s Cool Prompt “The Wrong Place At The Right Time”, with some bold funk from Dr. John.  In the late 1960s a New Orleans session musician named Mac Rebennack reinvented himself as Dr. John, The Night Tripper and his music combines blues, pop, jazz, boogie woogie and rock and roll.  Dr. John performed a wildly theatrical stage show inspired by medicine shows, Mardi Gras costumes and voodoo ceremonies and in 1973 he scored a top-10 hit with ‘Right Place, Wrong Time’.  When Dr. John wrote this song, he said that he was in the wrong place at the right time, and the right place in the wrong time.  During the summer of 1973, the song peaked at number nine on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.  It is ranked as the 24th biggest hit of 1973.  I will always remember Dr. John for his performance of his song ‘Such a Night’, as part of the Band’s Last Waltz concert.  The album ‘In the Right Place’, was produced by Allen Toussaint a New Orleans-based R&B singer/songwriter.  The record features backing performances by The Meters, who have been described as being the funkiest rhythm section anywhere, funk’s musical backbone who emerged from the great gumbo of New Orleans sounds.

Dr. John won several Grammy Awards in a variety of categories and in 2011, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Brain Salad Surgery is the name of an album by Emerson, Lake and Palmer and supposedly it is slang for fellatio. Some of the lyrics say, “I been in the right vein but it seems like the wrong arm” and Dr. John did suffer from a decades-long heroin addiction.  Dr. John said that he got help with some of the lyrics from Bob Dylan who told him, “I’m on the right trip, but I’m in the wrong car”, and then Bette Midler gave him, “My head’s in a bad place; I don’t know what it’s there for.”  Doug Sahm a child prodigy who performed with Hank Williams at the age of 11 also pitched in with, “I was in the right set, but it must have been the wrong sign.”  Timing is always crucial for success, as well as being in the right place and having the awareness to understand what is going on.  Failure can result from doing the wrong thing, but also if you do the right thing at the wrong time.

I been in the right place but it must have been the wrong time
I’d have said the right thing but I must have used the wrong line
I been in the right trip but I must have used the wrong car
My head was in a bad place and I’m wondering what it’s good for
I been in the right place but it must have been the wrong time
My head was in a bad place but I’m having such a good time

I been running trying to get hung up in my mind
Got to give myself a good talking-to this time
Just need a little brain salad surgery
Got to cure my insecurity

I been in the wrong place but it must have been the right time
I been in the right place but it must have been the wrong song
I been in the right vein but it seems like the wrong arm
I been…

I been in the wrong place but it must have been the right time
I been in the right place but it must have been the wrong song
I been in the right vein but it seems like the wrong arm
I been in the right world but it seems wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong

Slipping dodging sneaking creeping hiding out down the street
See me life shaking with every ho’ I meet
Refried confusion is making itself clear
Wonder which way do I go to get on out of here

I been in the right place but it must have been the wrong time
I’d have said the right thing but I must have used the wrong line
I’d have took the right road but I must have took a wrong turn
Would’ve made the right move but I made it at the wrong time
I been on the right road but I must have used the wrong car
My head was in a good place and I wonder what it’s bad for

Written for Ray NotBradbury Cool Writing Prompt – “The Wrong Place At The Right Time”.

13 thoughts on “Propensity For Misfortune

  1. That’s a funny song — if I don’t do it, somebody else will. I hadn’t heard that before.

    As for the other video, which song I have heard and liked, it reminded me that one of the few times I experienced overt discrimination [not always the worst kind compared to subconscious or hidden] of the sexism sort was when I said I wanted to play trombone in grade school while someone was there to demonstrate options for lessons. This man seemed to think he was being thoughtful, but he told me girls don’t play that. ☺That gal did fine. She’s taller than I am though.

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