GET THEE GONE: Country Soul Sister Sh*t or How I Learned to Love Lyme Disease

"Get Thee Gone" by the Geraldine Fibbers is one of pop music's great sad songs. Written by the immensely talented Carla Bozulich for the 1995 album Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home, the song is an odd mix of country soul sister shit from the golden age - think a roughed up Loretta turning "Fist City" into "Kill City" - with some banjo tossed in for atmosphere and then a hefty dose of Sonic Youth dissonance and Plastic Ono Band P.S.T. for good measure - making sure all of the bases get touched, part of the Fibbers overall musical appeal. The lyrics are some of the finest in Bozulich's career, a real spiritual bloodletting of the highest order in terms of poetry. The words have the hard edged nihilism of Darby Crash baked into them - because it's impossible to escape that influence in underground L.A. - but there is also a gentle sadness of resignation "that grows upon their thighs and knees" that can only point to one source - the Gun Club. That's the influence that is strongest on Lost and one of things that first drew me to the band and eventually Carla, who  - as I suspected - was a big fan of Jeffrey Lee Pierce and that his work very much influenced her work.

I also recognized a universal quality of sadness to this song and for me the lyrics speak to the demons who haunt me every night in my dreams as my partner fights for her life against the insidious effects of Lyme Disease. That's why I am starting a little blog series about my surreal life with music and Lyme with the eventual goal of compiling and self-publishing the results of my writings on the subject. Or at the very least, a bitchin' Youtube playlist.  For now, I am singling out songs that I believe were written for people surviving Lyme but obviously weren't written for that purpose. Sometimes songs really tap into that loneliness of the soul and blackness of spirit that can accompany the helplessness a supportive partner of a Lymie often goes through. This is my therapeutic response to that pit of despair that always lurks out on the edges of reality and put it in it's proper place while merging my loves of writing, music, and self-improvement. From here, we only go up.

My sadness does escape me now, I care not where I go.  The black old moon takes off my clothes,  and throws me in the snow.

The opening line of this song speaks to the resignation I feel everyday as I leave my wife on her own to earn our meager wages. Who has ever written a better line than: "My sadness does escape me now, I care not where I go."? You can feel the pain right there and the hollowness of  bitter defeat.

I gave you all I had to tell and you gave me your will. Well that's enough to wind a clock, but not enough to kill.

When I hear these lines I think of how much Lyme robs from you and the helplessness associated with that.

Go away my precious doll. Get thee gone from here. When I close my eyes to sleep. Please do not appear.

Greatest chorus of all time, with Bozulich's sandpapered up Bobbie Gentry vocals, if this doesn't give you a little lump in the throat then I guess you haven't seen much shit in your life and I envy you for that. It's sad but hopeful...someday the nightmare will end.

I emptied out your bag of toys and let them spin their web. But oddly as I watched them turn,
my love begins to ebb.

I run like blood through open doors. I go where hope bends me. You're in my guts but evermore our hearts will not agree.

These ones are very personal, but I will say that 75-80% of Lyme marriages end in divorce so my wife and I know what we are up against. But these lyrics also speak to how much a serious disease will mess with your mind and turn you into someone you are not before finding redemption and becoming someone you want to be. There's always hope.

Go away my precious doll. Get thee gone from here. When I close my eyes to sleep, please do not appear.

Go away my precious doll. Get thee gone from here. When I close my eyes to sleep, please do not appear.

The repeat of the chorus is incredibly dramatic, swelling to an emotionally cathartic climax. If we're going to continue with the sexual terms - let's call this the tune's money shot. This is the "Born To Lose" ethos fully realized, it's both brave and resolute while displaying appropriate sadness and elegy. All you can do is sigh when the song reaches this point.

When I close my eyes to sleep, please do not appear.

The song breaks down for the incredible final line to just Carla's husky voice, all countried-up, and the hints of a pedal steel. It's like the Gun Club's "Mother of Earth" from a woman's perspective. All of that "We can f*ck forever but you'll never get my soul" bravado reduced to a small woman begging for someone or something to stop slowly killing her. Which, unfortunately, has been a phrase uttered more than once in this household since all of this madness began.

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