Lucinda Williams

One of my favorite writers in any genre is singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams.

She’s released another wonderful album entitled West. It’s a little uneven. “Come On” strikes me as a tad shrill, and a couple of songs sound too familiar, though familiar Lucinda is better than most writers’ cutting edge. There are many outstanding songs, the title track, “Words,” “Everything Has Changed.” “What If,” however, blows me away. The lyrics brilliantly demonstrate the whole range of What If literature—from satiric to apocalyptic to whimsical—in economical, powerful images. Wish I’d written it.

What If

—by Lucinda Williams

I shudder to think
What it would mean
If The President wore pink
If a prostitute was queen.

What would happen then?
How would the world change?
If thick became thin?
And the world was rearranged?

If the rains brought down the moon
And daylight was feared
And the sun rose too soon
And then just disappeared,

If dogs became kings
And the pope chewed gum
If hobos had wings
And God was a bum,

If houses became trees
And flowers turned to stone
And there were no families
And people lived alone,

If buildings started laughing
And windows cried
And feet started clapping
And out came inside,

If mountains fell in slivers
And the sky began to bleed
And blood filled up the rivers
And prisoners were freed,

If the stars fell apart
And the ocean dried up
And the world was one big heart
And decided to stop,

And children grew up happier
And they could run with the wolves
And they never felt trapped
Or hungry or unloved,

If cats walked on water
And birds had bank accounts
And we loved one another
In equal amounts.

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