I always wonder,do people say “WOO!”, or is that an impulse? Is that, I mean, "should we applaud him or ,maybe he’ll really, like, have to make up for it and we’ll get, like, double the patter?"
So this is a song... I get self-conscious about this because I’ve told this story several times on this tour but this doesn’t mean I script my stuff, it just means it’s a true story. So... So, I was on tour in Sweden and, uh, because, ONE, because I’m a hypochondriac, ONE! and because I probably have a fatal disease TWO, I became persuaded that I had “The Cancer”. Now, those of you who don’t have any hypochondria can’t really imagine what it’s like to have a chest pain and have this thought take hold of your brain the same way that if you wonder if “did you leave the stove on?”, you know, and you have to go back to the house no matter how far you’ve driven West, if you’re all the way out to Oklahoma and you say “oh, fuck, is the stove on? I’m gonna burn something down. I have to go back!” You know? (I have that problem also, um...)
So yeah, I mean, I’ve been in a car, scrunched up in the back seat for five days. Couldn’t possibly be that, could it be? No! It’s got to be The Lung Cancer from all the smoking all those years. And so I went to the Emergency Room and even though it turned out I was fine the doctor told me that I had “Lutheran Syndrome”, that I feel I need to pay for the things that I did before. A Swedish doctor told me that. It was one of the high points of my life, I have to say.
But during the hour waiting in the waiting room in Stockholm, I mean, I was gonna die. That’s where I was at in my head. It was like I’m gonna go in there and they’re gonna say “yeah, you have three months. What will you tell your family?”
“This is a terrible life to be living” I thought to myself. So, as anybody would do, since I don’t understand the language on the Swedish television, I wrote some lyrics. And then, six months later when I had forgotten the whole affair… I was paging through my notebook looking to see if I had anything I could put on an EP I was gonna make with Kaki King, one of the finest guitarists on the face of the planet, and said “Oh! What’s that fuckin’ weird lookin’ lyric that has all the crabby tiny handwriting... looks like it was written by a suicidal guy? Oh! I kinda like that one!”