Hotel Bacon (Michelle Branch parody)

This is to be sung to the tune of Hotel Paper by Michelle Branch.

I like mostly just hotel bacon.
Knowing the leftovers would never be consumed.
Raised, erased, their flesh is too tasty to leave here.
so I try not to eat meat but I do.
But I do.

No need to feed pigs the grain for my breakfast.
Sow means, reap none from the future; it’s theft.
I try to stop but it’s free to get this.
I know tomorrow there’ll be nothing left.

And I wanted to be
living in places I could keep living.
But I want luxury,
so I’ll take this hotel, and all it’s serving.

This turned out to cost more than I bargained for,
and I can’t stay in this place another day.
Forgive me; now that I’m baconless like you, I like you.
I just realised it way too late.

And I wanted to be
Living in places I could keep living.
But I got luxury,
So I took this hotel, and all its servings.
(Maybe this temporary retreat is surrender.)

My life’s mostly just hotel bacon.

I moved to Austria a month or so ago, and since then I’ve spent most of my time in hotels while trying to find an apartment (easy) and get the brokers or owners to acknowledge my existence so I can visit and/or rent one (hard.) The last couple of weeks I’ve been in a fairly expensive hotel that serves bacon as part of the included breakfast, so I’ve been eating bacon almost every day, which is more often than I’d usually eat meat. It was only a matter of time before the notion of hotel bacon attached itself to Michelle Branch’s song ‘Hotel Paper’, and once that happened there was no stopping the cephalophyllic musical end of that molecule from attaching itself firmly to my brain. I didn’t particularly want to write this, but the song was going to stay in my head until I did, and I wasn’t familiar enough with the song to even get a decently-sized chunk of it repeating. The parody got all metaphorical on me, so it’s darker than originally intended, and it sometimes skips from one thing to another with rather tenuous links, because of how short the song is. Here, have a wiki page about the environmental impact of meat production to fill in a few gaps, and a much more fun veggie-related Jonathan Coulton parody called ‘Re: Your Grains‘ to make you feel better.

And now for far too many notes about the writing. I have inserted the occasional extra unstressed syllable, but in most cases there’s plenty of room for them in the tune. The worst offender is the ‘e’ in ‘erased’. I wavered between ‘sow’ and ‘grow’ and ‘means’ and ‘seeds’. ‘Sow means’ could sound like ‘so mean’ if sung, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. ‘Sow seeds’ could seem like ‘Seeds for a sow’ if read, and I think that’s a good thing given that we’re talking about feeding grains to pigs. Seeds rhymes with needs, but means is more global in meaning and I am trying to get across the idea of borrowing nonrenewable resources from the future. It could also be read as what the sow means. As I type this I have ‘sow means’ in the lyrics, but I’m tempted to change it to ‘sow seeds’ just to see if anyone reads it as ‘seeds for a sow’. People will surely think of it when they read ‘sow means’ anyway, though, and wonder why I didn’t use the more obvious and more rhymey noun to go with ‘sow’. So I guess I get ‘seeds’ for free if I write ‘means’.

I also hesitated between ‘shelterless’ and ‘penniless’ before finally settling on ‘baconless’, which could refer to voluntary vegetarians or others who eschew metaphorical bacons, as well as the poverty-stricken or homeless. If you’re wondering whether ‘feed pigs the grain for my breakfast’ means ‘feed pigs (the grain for my breakfast)’ or ‘(feed pigs the grain) for my breakfast’, it’s both. ‘Retreat’ also means both things.

Today I moved to a cheaper hotel which has no bacon but a much more reliable internet connection. I like it better already. You can expect a couple more posts now that I can stay online long enough to post the things I’ve been writing. Though I might use most of my online time to look wistfully at apartments from afar, and catch up on the free linguistics courses I’m enrolled in.  The e-learning platform is pretty great, even though there are some quirks which make it obvious how long ago it was designed. Today I learnt to identify all the cardinal vowels and pulmonic consonants, which was pretty exciting. I always wanted to learn phonetics with actual sounds instead of just books. In one of the lectures the lecturer (who I just noticed also plays Jethro Tull music) mentions he was taught by David Crystal, who wrote both a dictionary of language I bought (along with a dictionary of mathematics) about 15 years ago, and a book on internet linguistics which I just happened to find, buy and read a year or so ago.

Anyway, enjoy your stay! Please excuse the lack of chambermaids, and note that checkout is at 123 years at the latest.

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