No Diamond in the Rough

“Cherry Pony Car” (listen below) has been bouncing around in my head for months, and I was finally able to finish it today! I granted an exclusive interview about the song—to myself. Warning: it got a bit contentious. Here are some excerpts:

On recording the vocals…
Q: What’s it like to record vocals when you can’t sing very well?
A: Wow. You don’t pull any punches.
Q: Well, I’ve heard everything you’ve ever recorded.
A: The worst part is listening back to the vocals on their own. It’s like looking at yourself in a dressing-room mirror.
Q: “Does this chorus make my butt look big?”
A: Exactly.
Q: Do you ever think about having your songs performed by an actual singer?
A: All the time.

On early feedback…
Q: What’s the early feedback on this one?
A: There isn’t any. I’m the only person who has ever heard it.
Q: I’ve heard it, too. Ad nauseam.
A: Of course. The dogs were also in the room when I recorded it. Sometimes on my lap.
Q: What did they think?
A: They would tune out after the first line of the first verse.
Q: Why is that?
A: That’s where they’re mentioned.
Q: So, the first person to click “play” in this post will be the first person to hear “Cherry Pony Car,” aside from its creator. Is that fair to say?
A: It’s fairer than most of the things you say.

On the title…
Q: So, what is a “pony car”?
A: I’m not entirely clear on that myself. It’s a classification of American car. I kind of love the inherent contradiction. Is it a small horse? Is it a motor vehicle? It’s like an oxymoron.
Q: Yes, moron. That makes sense. Does “cherry” mean the car is red?
A: Possibly. But “cherry” could also refer to the condition—like the car is in perfect shape.
Q: Is this a literal car? Or is it a metaphor for something else?
A: That’s up to the listener.
Q: Is that a copout?
A: Yes.

On the piano solo…
Q: Let’s talk about that piano solo in the middle of the track.
A: Sure. What would you like to know?
Q: You know.
A: Excuse me?
Q: The thing.
A: What thing?
Q: The thing you wanted people to know!
A: I just like seeing you squirm. I inadvertently wrote the piano solo for three hands. In other words, it could never be performed in real life, at least not by a single pianist. I thought I could remedy the situation by adding another piano. The first piano sounds like a grand piano being played on stage. The second is an old-timey, saloon-sounding piano.
Q: Did adding the second piano solve the problem of needing three hands to perform the solo?
A: No, it only compounded it. Now I’m short two hands instead of one.

On Adele…
Q: Are you concerned about “dropping” new music when the British superstar Adele is due to release her fourth album in a matter of weeks?
A: Not at all.
Q: Can you be so cavalier?
A: It’s easy to be cavalier when your blog has only a few dozen followers.

Cherry Pony Car


“Cherry Pony Car”



Nancy Sinatra, Johnny Cash

D minor

What dogs are saying:

  • “We loved our cameo in the first line of the first verse. We don’t know what happens after that.” —Sophie and Grace


Cherry pony car
Arrived in sixty-five
Cherry pony car
Just going for a drive

I let the dogs out in the yard
One peaceful Sunday morn
I heard your V-8 breathing hard
As sure as I was born
You might as well have laid in on that horn

Cherry pony car
I swore you off before
Cherry pony car
Low rumble by my door

I pictured sitting in that coupe
Hands held across the seat
We’d listen to our favorite group
Heads bouncing to the beat
I dared to dream that life could be so sweet

Cherry pony car
Stop hiding your good side
Cherry pony car
Don’t take me for a ride

[Piano solo]

Cherry pony car
Arrived in sixty-five
Cherry pony car
Just going for a drive

You treat me cool and run me down
As if I’m not enough
I’ve been your fool, I’ve played the clown
It’s time to call your bluff
Cuz, babe, I ain’t no diamond in the rough

Cherry pony car
Too late to catch your plate
Cherry pony car
Keep rolling ’til you reach that Golden Gate

Keep rolling ’til you reach that Golden Gate

6 thoughts on “No Diamond in the Rough

  1. Jim

    Love it! Now I’ll have it stuck in my head all afternoon. What you did with your voice on the line, “Cuz Babe, I ain’t no diamond in the rough.” That was hot hot fire. 🙂


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