Skeleton Hotel

In college, I took a course on 19th century literature, focusing on writers like Henry James and Edith Wharton.

One day, our professor mentioned the concept of the “Trans-Atlantic Woman,” meaning — from what I can remember — a woman who was as comfortable in, say, New York or Boston as she was in London or Paris.

At the time, I made a joke that “Trans-Atlantic Woman” sounded like a classic rock song. I could even hear it in my head (“Trans-Atlantic WO-man!”) sung by a band in the Foghat/Doobie Brothers mold.

The phrase and that joke crept into the back of my mind, returning in 2013 when I happened to notice a copy of the movie version of Portrait of a Lady at the library.

I was on Twitter, and typed:

She’s a trans-Atlantic woman/from London down to Baltimore.

Then I added a hashtag: #MadeUpClassicRockLyrics

I added a few more fake lyrics. People seemed to like them, and I kept doing them. It became my “thing” on Twitter, for better or worse.

Usually these fake lyrics are goofy and overwrought, but every now and then, I come up with something that — if I were an actual musician — I’d want to use in a song.

One of these phrases “the skeleton hotel” has been nagging at me for a few months, so I decided to write…well, I don’t know.

It’s song lyrics, or it’s a poem or it’s me being suuuuuuuuuuuuuper pretentious. Maybe all those things. Here we go:

The Skeleton Hotel

  1. You can go to church each Sunday and spend time talking to the priest

You can round up a bunch of beggars and invite them to a feast

You can skip your vengeance; the best revenge is living well.

You’ll still end up at the Skeleton Hotel.

Skeleton Hotel, Skeleton Hotel, we all end up at the Skeleton Hotel.

2. He hangs out at the bus depot and gets the porn girls hooked.

He slinks out to an office park and tries to cook the books.

They’ll both just keep on doing it until the final bell

and then they’ll check in at the Skeleton Hotel.

Skeleton Hotel, Skeleton Hotel, we all end up at the Skeleton Hotel.

3. Some people died in car cashes, some people died from booze,

some people died in solitude and some died on the news.

John Quincy Adams, Joseph Stalin, William Tell,

they’re all checked in at the Skeleton Hotel.

Skeleton Hotel, Skeleton Hotel, we all end up at the Skeleton Hotel.