The Supper Club

The Supper Club

owl's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

I'm helping host the Song Fight! Live event this year in Madison ( and the live fight prompt "The Supper Club" was released yesterday, and I'll be playing it on Saturday for people to vote on in real time. Unless I lose my nerve.

A bit more about the Wisconsin supper club tradition here:

Single take, live, one mic, newish condenser microphone, very new acoustic guitar. I did throw some reverb and mastering presets on it in Reaper but everything else is au naturel. I will maybe try recording it again later when it's not 1 AM and swap out the demo because there are a few melody things I had kind of wanted to switch up.


The dead are waiting at the supper club
Just like when they were alive
Their names all chalked on the wall by the jukebox
they've been feeding with the coins from their eyes
From their eyes

And up in the front of the supper club
Wooden panels curve around the endless room
The dead are eating carrots from the relish tray
Cheese and crackers and incense from the tomb
From the tomb

And ohhhh, I didn't think that I'd be waiting here so soon
An Old Fashioned in my hand, standing awkward by the garbage can,
Drinking cause there's nothing else to do
Waiting in the supper club for you
Waiting in the supper club for you

Phyllis brings me over to a table
Even though I wanted to wait till you arrived
She freshens up my drink, and says, honey, come on, think about it
You can't just sit around until he dies
Take my advice

And when I first walked into the supper club
I thought I saw my grandma in the hall
But the faster that I walked, the farther away she got,
Until there was nothing left at all
Not at all

And ohhhh, in the supper club, it's always Friday night
The fish fry lasts forever, and it's always summer weather,
But without you, eternity feels odd
Sitting around and waiting here for cod
Sitting around and waiting here for cod

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


coolparadiso's picture

Wow I've listened to a lot but this made me stop in my tracks! This is as good as i have heard for a long time. Brilliant concept through the lyric, guitar to wash over you and vocals of the highest quality. Great work !

barbara's picture

Lovely, delicate feeling to this surreal cinematic song. Loved all the descriptive details; the lyric is a good read all by itself. Your sweet breathy soprano is perfectly light, almost floating in the little leaps. Phyllis verse was amazingly crafted rhyme and delivery, totally delightful. Good luck in the live performance!

billwhite51's picture

the supper club is an excellent setting for this sad but sweet fresco of the afterlife, the writing is very good throughout and i especially like the verse about grandma. your performnce so gorgeous that i almost wished i was there eating the fried fish on a friday night that lasts forever. you make it sound like its not such a bad place to be, although it can get lonely.....and the most difficult thing we deal with in terms of death is the eternal loneliness of it all. 1 am may be the best time to sing such a song but if you redo it, please let me know, i cant imagine it being any better than this, though

ductapeguy's picture

So very poignant. The last line wraps it up in a bow... "... sitting around waiting for cod."

katpiercemusic's picture

This evokes lots of feelings. Might be inspiring thoughts and other song ideas too. I think it's really cool that this song is from the perspective of the other side... that the person singing is waiting for loved ones to join her. It's very well executed and has a bit of a Dar Williams sensibility. I really enjoyed listening.

sbs2018's picture

Love supper clubs so the title got my attention but the lyrics are so clever and then there’s that angelic voice! Pretty awesome!

fresh spotless youth's picture

Ooh...that chorus made the hair stand up on my neck. The whole thing is really lovey, with great storytelling. You paint such a vivid picture of this sad purgatory...and I love the darkly comic send off. The cod bit made me laugh

Fuzzy's picture

A gentle and lovely tune here.
And oh my gosh those lyrics.
The dead feeding the jukebox with coins from their eyes?!?
Let me know if you update this, even though it is perfect as it is.

Technicolor Gramophone's picture

Gorgeous guitar and vocals. Lyrics are fantastic ... really creative, with several killer lines ("coins from their eyes," "waiting for cod"). Love it!

crisp1's picture

Some of the best lyrics I've seen so far this 50/90.What elevates them is not just the cleverness (coins from their eyes feeding the jukebox) but the overall concept of the supper club as the afterlife. Brilliant. You've come up with a sweet tune and your voice sounds almost too innocent to be singing about a subject this mature but I love the contrast. A superb song!

Ferry Colyer's picture

Masterclass songwriting. I sure like what I was hearing. I was imagining it was like you got all attention, all ears for this song for the beauty of its loneliness. Really nice and pleasing to hear you again!

Silver Machine's picture

Everything here is superb, the lyrics, the melody, the singing, all are a real delight to witness.
I was entranced by the sadness, and the 'cod' line was so unexpected I roared with laughter and immediately felt guilty, like I'd burst into giggles at a funeral service. That was a brilliant ending turning everything upside down so completely. Full marks.

standup's picture

Sounds good. I've been experimenting with one mic for guitar and voice lately, it's not easy to get right (but the balance is good here).

And I like the story a lot. Feeding the jukebox with the coins from their eyes, hilarious. And the dead eat incense, why not? And receding Grandma, eternally out of reach.

And especially waiting around for someone. Standing awkwardly by the trash can with an Old Fashioned, waiting. I think I've been to that party too, under different circumstances.

It's always summer, always Friday night. That might eventually turn out to be hell, though, I suppose.

Cool tune.

tcelliott's picture

I loved the melody in the live version Saturday night but I didn't really get the whole story with the audio being in a live room with live room noises etc., And now that I've had the chance to listen here in the quiet of my own home, I can't believe how simply incredible this is. And as far as the recording, I think this one works very, very well.

Vom Vorton's picture

Superb writing, and a really strong performance too. You've done a great job capturing the intimacy and atmosphere of live performance.

iveg's picture

Spooky, kinda sad story. The melody/ your vocal performance + guitar made it seem lighter and happier. Thanks for including the link about the supper clubs. It made the song richer for me. The image of the dead feeding the jukebox with the coins on their eyes was very cinematic for me. I could see it. The whole song is very cinematic - like a faded hand-tinted silver-print come to [not quite] life.

I like the surreal dream that you paint with your words, and your vocals are so lovely. Your guitar had me thinking Paul Simon was sitting in. So happy I dropped by!

coolparadiso's picture

I just wanted to say as the dust settles on 50/90 this is one of the finest songs i heard this time around!