You Clean Up Real...Bad

You Clean Up Real...Bad

billwhite51's picture



Liner Notes: 

In the ten years I spent as a film critic for the Seattle Post Intelligencer, I was forced to endure the repeated cliches of the medium as they surfaced in over 700 movies a year. One of the most wretched and ridiculous of these scenes was the one in which two people on a first date cant wait to get into a bedroom where they crash into each other, pushing each other against walls as they tear off each others clothes. I also hated those mornign after overhead shots of the two heads on the pillow

But worse than this were the scenes in which a man who has gone to seed, his withdrawal from society represented by ill fitting clothes, an oversized and worn out overcoat, long greasy uncombed hairm and a beard full of snot. is befriended by a concerned woman who sends him off to a barber shop and high end mens clothing store and then, upon seeing the results of her powers of social ressurrection, declaims the abominable line,”You clean up real good.”

I hate that line so much that I am was finally compelled to write this satirical reversal that tells what really happens when a derelict makes an attempt to clean himself up and rejoin the rat race.


My face has emulsified
Like a piece of nitrate film
My cheeks are running gelatin
My eyes are churning milk

Still I bought a diamond ring
With the last gold piece I had
She just turned up her nose at me
Said Boy you clean up real bad

I splurged fifty cents on breath mints
My identity papers in place
Rented a suit for the interview
But there was nothing I could do about my face

But some gel in my hair but it looked
Like someone had vomited into the strands
The big boss blew his nose and said
Hey kid, you clean up real bad

So I got my hair done by the stylist
Who used to cut Cobain
Then put powder and foundation
Up and down my ruptured veins

The cop said Dont you know that flannel shirts
Are yesterdays laughable fad?
Go on and get back into your own good hole
You clean up real bad

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


metalfoot's picture

Yes!!! Thanks so much for crushing this terribly overused movie trope.

This is hilarious.

cindyrella's picture

Perfect! And I had to laugh too since I wrote that lyric Clean Up Real Good! :D. Morning laugh!

coolparadiso's picture

your back stories are as good as the songs! worth the read in themselves. Clever satirical lyric. i cringe at my lines sometimes but know im just pandering to the masses occasionally so they might accidentally listen to one of my meaningful ones!

Susan Cantey's picture

Love the back story. Helps me understand why me and the critics don't always agree, LOL! My hubby & I love going to the movies. Did you see "Yesterday"? I think it was the best movie of the summer. LOVED it! Any road, this is a great parody or whatever it should be called. I really enjoyed your Sinicism...or whatever it should be called. keep up the good work!

katpiercemusic's picture

Ha! This is fantastic! And such a lovely premise. I love subverting expectation, so yes... this one appeals to me quite a lot.

fresh spotless youth's picture

The title alone made me chuckle, and it's even funnier when you sing the line. This would great, and would be tremendous in a massive electric version. I can practically hear the fans sing along with that title line

Ferry Colyer's picture

I'm missing the finger in your throat in the liner notes. But I was pleased to hear/read your gel/vomit comparison. I like how you put stories upside down to show how strange everyday life and its inhabitants can be. I also like to think how you cleaned up one of your irritations by having written this song.