Chris Smither’s Got No Love Today

Until 2001 Chris Smither was just a name to me. I knew vaguely that he was somehow connected with the folkie or singer-songwriter scenes. I decided to catch his set at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle that year, and he blew me away, First of all, he’s a great fingerstyle guitarist. But he’s also a fantastic songwriter with great idiosyncratic lyrics. He has a wonderful sense of humor, delightful wordplay and true pathos. This song plays out its premise with a vengeance, playing off the call of a street produce vendor to make a leap to regret for love lost and ultimately self-awareness. “If hungry is what’s eating you I’ll sell you peace of mind”—pure brilliance. There’s so much packed into this lyric, yet it all moves along like a charm. This is a song where the verse is essential to set the scene. A great lyric, and there’s many more where it came from.

I don’t know much, when I knew less,
And I was heartbroke for the first time,
I was drowning in my tears,
I went looking for a lifeline,
Trying to find some comfort,
A simple tender touch,
Searching for some little cure
That would not cost too much,
And I could hear that produce wagon on the street,
I could hear that farmer singing,
As I cried myself to sleep

CHORUS
I got ba-na-na, watermelon, peaches by the pound,
Sweet corn, mirleton, mo’ better than in town,
I got okra, enough to choke ya,
Beans of every kind,
If hungry is what’s eatin’ you
I’ll sell you peace of mind,
But this ain’t what you came to hear me say,
And I hate to disappoint you,
But I got no love today,
I got no love today,
I got no love today,
No love today

I could not love to save myself
From lonesome desperation.
Everything I thought was love
Was worthless imitation.
My concept of commitment
Was to take all you could give,
I thought the cheapest thrills I loved
Were teachin’ me to live,
But nothin’ seemed to last or see me through
Nothin’ but that little song
That I still sing for you.

CHORUS

No love today, none tomorrow,
Not now, not forever.
You can’t see what comes for free,
I think you much too clever,
For your own good I will tell you
What’s right before your eyes,
Intelligence is no defense
Against what this implies,
In the end no one will sell you what you need,
You can’t buy it off the shelf,
You got to grow it from the seed,

CHORUS

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