Could've Been King

by Blair Packham

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about

A mid-life crisis album. Much more fun than that sounds. Smart mix of roots rock, Americana and pop from "one of Canada's best unsung pop songwriters" (Ron Sexsmith)

credits

released January 31, 2004

Recorded with those power pop geniuses, The Odds (from Vancouver, BC, Canada).

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all rights reserved

about

Blair Packham Toronto, Ontario

Having first burst onto Canadian radio with 80s power pop band The Jitters, Blair Packham released two solo albums before shifting focus to compose music for TV/films. Now, 13 years after his last release, Blair has returned with “Unpopular Pop.”
Making the album in his home studio, Blair called upon friends
(including Ron Sexsmith and ex-Barenaked Ladies’ frontman Steven Page) to help out.
... more

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Track Name: Could've Been King
I could've been King
But I didn’t dig the clothes
The jeweled hat, the ermine robes
I could've been King
But I didn’t like the hours
The wretched excess, the abuse of power
I could've been...
Top of the heap
Head of the class
First in line
But I didn’t feel like kissin’ so much...
...As I was saying
I could've been King

I could've been King
But I would have had to laugh
Wash out my mouth from talking so much crap
I could've been King
But I would’ve died too young
And have the people mourn their royal son
I'd have probably...
Driven the limo
Into the pool
Drugged myself
Then drowned in my own drool...
But I think I was saying

I could have been King
At least that’s how it looks from here
I could have been anything
I could have been King
But I guess I didn’t try
And if they say “sour grapes”
It’s possible they’re right

I could've been King
I know I had the goods
The regal bearing, the witty words
I could’ve been King
The ball was in my court
But I wasted chances like it was royal sport
I could've been...
Top of the heap
Head of the class
First in line
But I didn’t feel like kissin’ so much...
...As I was saying...

I could have been King
Well at least that’s how it looks from here
I could have been anything
I could have been King
Well, I thought I was in line
And if they say “sour grapes”
It’s possible they’re right
-----------------------------------------------------
© 2003 No. 1 Imperfects / Craig Northey {SOCAN}
Track Name: Coming Undone
words and music by
Tam & Tash Amabile and Blair Packham

The earth is slipping sideways
I’m starting to get dizzy
And I think I might slide over the edge
Trying to find my balance
I reach out for an anchor
But I’m at the thin end of the wedge

'Way back when
When I sang my baby blues
That was then
Happiness was all I knew
Now I’m walking a line
As thin as a thread
Tightly wound but coming undone

The second hand kept ticking
I got older by the minute
But no wiser for the time gone by
For someone so self-righteous
I swear this time I might just
Not be totally convinced I'm right
'Way back when...
°
If I could I’d sweep my doubts away
And wrap myself completely in your arms
But deep inside a voice keeps on whispering...
It’s whispering: You’re walking a line
As thin as a thread
Tightly wound but coming undone

'Way back when
When I sang my baby blues
That was then
Happiness was all I knew
Now I’m walking a line
As thin as a thread
Tightly wound but coming undone

'Way back when
When I sang my baby blues
That was then
When I first met you
Once again
I’m walking that line
And I’m coming undone
------------------------------------------------
© 1993 TNT Songs/No.1 Imperfects {SOCAN}
Track Name: Happy Go Lucy
words and music by
Blair Packham and Arlene Bishop

Happy Go Lucy
I like how you leave me
Awake in my mind
But you leave me so sleepy

I rise and I fall
But you strike like a match now
Beautiful Lucy
You’re so tricky to catch

You slip out the window
To sleep in the moonlight
The stars smile upon you
And the earth seems to sigh

Happy Go Lucy
I burn with your memory
You’re touching my flesh
With a hand that's so cool

You float like a moth
Don’t fly into the flame now
I’ll call you so gladly
I’ll call out your name

You slip out the window
To sleep in the moonlight
The stars smile upon you
And the earth seems to sigh
(Don’t say goodbye)
-----------------------------------------------------
© 2003 No. 1 Imperfects / The Twelve Steves (SOCAN)
Track Name: The Opportunist
words & music by
Blair Packham

With her breasts spilling out of her dress
She thanked God for all her success
And a list of producers and stylists and users
And her men who were trained to say "yes"

She paused, and we tried to find flaws
And found we were quite at a loss
She was so very perfect
And probably worth it
If having her meant breaking the law

She tried to go on with her list
But the music swept her away
They call her an opportunist
But it's meant in the best way

Before we get farther along
I'll declare the intent of this song
It's not an indictment of all the excitement
Generated by beautiful blondes

No, it's not some morality tale
Where in the end the beautiful fail
And like dumb adolescents
They get taught a lesson
And the homely always prevail

It's almost as if there's a list
There's not room for everyone
Only the opportunists can step up
And claim what they've won

The journalists all knew the deal
Beneath the Academy sign
They shouted "How does it feel?!"
And the cameras whirred and they whined
The publicists pointed and directed
She was next in the line
She accepted her opportunity

With her breasts spilling out of her dress
She thanked God for all her success
And I'll bet God enjoyed that
She clearly employed what he gave
With such generousness

Staring into the abyss
There's only the chosen few
Only the opportunists
And maybe not me
Nor probably you

© 2003 No. 1 Imperfects {SOCAN}
Track Name: Crystal Clear
words and music by
Tam & Tash Amabile and Blair Packham

Like falling down a waterfall
Of blue and you see red
Icy waves of anger crashing down
Around my head
Over talked and overwhelmed
Over everything with you
Crystal clear
Crystal clear

Candles burning in your room
Light silence where it falls
I'm lying here--you're sitting there
Means nothing says it all
You're arguing semantics
With the shadows on the wall
It's crystal clear
Crystal clear

The clock keeps ticking
And it drowns out opposition
Time can't be bothered with goodbyes
Suddenly too tired to cry
I search for the ambition
To fly

The warm breath on the mirror
That I had to wipe away
Made me see my tears
And now I know that I can't stay
Never thought it'd come to that
Not this time, anyway
Crystal clear
Crystal clear

I look at you and think about
The miles and where they've led
Leaving trails of restlessness
That wander through my head
Every place we might've been
And where we are instead
Crystal clear
It's crystal clear
© 1996 TNT Music/No. 1 Imperfects (SOCAN)
Track Name: Mr. Bitter
words and music by
Blair Packham & Paul Myers

Here comes Mister Bitter
He’s his own best friend
And his own worst enemy
Here comes Mister Bitter:
He’s making plans, he’s in demand
And he wants all the world to see
He’ll be moving and a-shaking
He’ll be making history

He comes with a sidekick
She’s a real safe bet
And she’s anybody’s guess
He comes with a sidekick
She bought the farm with all her charms
A string of pearls and a tiny dress
Now she’s in the bathroom mirror
And she’s also in distress

Mister Bitter loves to gossip
But he can’t afford it if he should get caught
Mister Bitter would just be bittersweet
If he could only be what he is not

He’s a one-note Johnny
Turning dollars into dimes
And wishes into whines
He’s a one-note Johnny
His appetite is never right
His aim is only to deprive
Like a Mormon who gets restless
And starts cheating on his wives

As a grievance collector
Mister Bitter’s at the apex of his art
He’ll hold a grudge forever
And keep it cozy in his cold and empty heart

Here comes Mister Bitter
He’s his own best friend
And his own worst enemy
Here comes Mister Bitter:
He’s making plans, he’s in demand
And he wants all the world to see
He’ll be moving and a-shaking
He’ll be making history

He’ll be moving and a-shaking
He’s his own worst enemy
-----------------------------------------------------
© 2004 No. 1 Imperfects {SOCAN}
Track Name: One-Hit Wonder
words and music by
Blair Packham

Imagine: Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett
In a parking lot
Sarasota, Florida
The evening air is not too hot
It’s Halloween night, 1992
Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett
With a pickup band
Who’re hoping just to make a splash
But thinking “Not tonight,” as they all shake hands
And crank up the chords to “The Monster Mash”
Twenty people or so glance up from their beers
As Bobby is introduced
And for the millionth time
In thirty years
The monster’s revived and let loose

And they clap for the one-hit-wonder
And laugh at the tune they know
And they dance and they sing
To the song that they first heard so many years ago

He’s wearing Frankenstein greasepaint
An old suit and boots
Standing on the makeshift stage
It’s a nightmare gig and it’s not too cute
But his rent is due so Bobby bears down
Trying to feel out the crowd
He starts reminiscing
As the band goes from bad to worse
Some moron yells out “Hey, shutup and sing!”
So Bobby launches into the verse
Fronting this band of mulleted boys
Who are younger than his song
Bobby shuffles his feet
And finds his voice
And with knowing grins
The crowd sings along

And they clap for the one-hit-wonder
And laugh at the tune they know
And they dance and they sing
To the song that they first heard so many years ago

Bobby will joke that it’s all been a lark
But thirty years on he’s still trapped in the dark
His Hollywood gang
More famous or more dead
Don’t hang out with him no more
So Bobby gigs instead

And they clap for the one-hit-wonder
And laugh at the tune they know
And they dance and they sing
To the song that they first heard so many years ago

And they laugh at the one-hit-wonder
Well, what the hell have they ever done
Have they ever hit the heights and had a string of hits?
Well, the one-hit-wonder had one

The one-hit wonder had one

At least the one-hit wonder had one
-----------------------------------------------------
© 2003 No. 1 Imperfects {SOCAN}
Track Name: Somebody Else
words & music by
Fergus Hambleton and Blair Packham

Though I know you don't owe an explanation
Still I wonder what's going on
never thought I'd find myself in this situation
never knowing right from wrong
Still I wanna know why
You didn't tell me yourself
Instead I had to hear it from somebody else

Somebody else
Opened my eyes
Somebody else
made me realize
Somebody else
Told me the truth about you

Loving hearts will go where they want to
And the truth is plain to see
All the minutes of our lives
Tumble together
In the fire burning me
Still I wanna know why
You didn't tell me yourself
Instead I had to hear it from somebody else

Somebody else
Opened my eyes
Somebody else
made me realize
Somebody else
Told me the truth about you

© 1993 Fergus Hambleton/No. 1 Imperfects (SOCAN)
Track Name: Little Fish
words & music by
Blair Packham

Little fish, little pond
Forgotten but not gone
Coulda been a mighta-been
But never-was he was

Water turns steel to rust
Dreams undreamt turn to dust
A picture fades a thousand ways
Regret burns on so bright

What might have been
Might have been nothing at all
If you never climb
You never have to fall

Take a step, then step back
Suspicious it’s a trap
Reward yourself for risking what
Was never yours to lose

Lie awake in the night
Your hopes at least as bright
As all the stars that wink and fade
With the coming dawn

What might have been
Might have been nothing at all
If you never climb
You never have to fall

Little fish, little pond
Forgotten but not gone
Coulda been a mighta been
But a never-was he was
-----------------------------------------------------
© 2002 No. 1 Imperfects {SOCAN}
Track Name: Hard, Cold World
words & music by
Blair Packham

It’s a hard, cold world
And it’s just getting colder
While you and me argue
We’re getting nothing but older
We’re not getting better
We’re not getting smarter
It’s a hard, cold world
And it’s just getting harder

It’s a hard, cold world
Where everyone’s a stranger
Where grinning faces
Barely mask mortal danger
Silly politicians
Using human lives for barter
It’s a hard, cold world
And it’s just getting harder

And we stood by and watched it crumble
And we stood by watched it sink
And we just stammered, joked and mumbled
And had another drink

It’s a hard, cold world
Full of cheating “winners”
Who'll stomp on wounded bodies
And watch you starve while they serve dinner
They'll steal wallets from dead men’s pockets
While the pile that smokes and smoulders
It’s a hard, cold world
And it’s just getting colder

And we stood by and watched it crumble...

It’s a hard, cold world
Well, I guess you’ve got the picture
That I don’t believe that the answer
Is in the wind or in the Scriptures
I have no answer, my friend
And I don’t mean to be a scolder
But it’s a hard, cold world
And it’s just getting colder
We’re not getting better
We’re not getting smarter
It’s a hard, cold world
And it’s just getting harder
-----------------------------------------------------
© 2003 No. 1 Imperfects
Track Name: I'll Think of You Fondly
words and music by
Blair Packham

When the rent came due
When the bank came calling
When the jig was up
You were off hiding
When it hit the fan
And turned real bad
When the going got rough
You were already gone

And I’m not sorry
Even though I trusted you
And if I think of you at all
I’ll think of you fondly

Well, we had our times
Of ups and downs
But the best of times
Never outweighed the bad
You made your choice
You used your voice
You made it known that
You were blowing town

And I’m not sorry
Even though I trusted you
And if I think of you at all
I’ll think of you fondly

This grudge is a heavy load
And it’s time for me to take the high road
I’ve resolved to be more evolved
Wish me luck!

Well when I find
I’ve got you on my mind
In a one-way rant
I’ll just try to let it go
And if I hear your name
I won’t make a face
I’ll show restraint
And I’ll think good thoughts

No, I’m not sorry...

-----------------------------------------------------
© 2004 No. 1 Imperfects {SOCAN}
Track Name: Last
So you made it
You made it to the end, I see
Congratulations, felicitations, well done!
Some will never get beyond track two, or maybe three
So they’ll never ever get to hear this song
This song is a song all about itself
Not concerned with lives lived well or lives lived fast
It’s not about broken hearts or dreams that fade away
All that it’s about are the things that come in last

Sure, I guess top billing is the greatest place to be
With validation, the fascination of the world
But I gotta think at this late date it’s not the place for me
As long as I’m the last stop for one specific girl
If I’m the last one she kisses
When she’s turning out the light
Or the last one she blames when things go wrong
Well, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really mind
If she knows I’m singing ‘bout her when I’m singing this last song

So you made it, you made it
Thanks for hanging in
Such dedication deserves a big reward
But you’ll have to be satisfied
With my grateful grin
And know it’s really all I can afford