I’ve written about Ed Haynes’s debut album, Ed Haynes Sings Ed Haynes, in this space previously, bit it’s been a while. In my recollection, this was one of those albums that arrived during the late winter/early spring of 1989, a blessed time that I’ve only partially elevated in grandeur because it coincided with my first semester in a leadership role at my college radio station. Though Haynes had mighty competition in our new music rotation, this album was one that I and my fellow deejays returned to repeatedly, the comic-tinged, upbeat folk songs provided a nice little breather in the midst of a set. Being a bunch of smart alecks, we appreciated the opportunity to riff on the sharp-minded material of Haynes. Okay, I appreciated it. delivering the humorously redundant album title like I was the one who came up with the gag.
“I Want to Kill Everybody” was the lead single from the record, adeptly tapping into the destructive cynicism that defined the outlook of many of us hovering around the age of twenty, embittered by eight years of Ronald Reagan and bracing ourselves for the sure-to-be-ugly tenure of his reluctantly anointed successor, Bush the Elder. When Haynes openly grouses, “Well, you gotta vote in the Senate/ And then you vote in the house/ And the president makes a speech/ A committee decides/ Which committee decides?/ Which committee decides?/ Which committee decides?” and speculates the only solution is wiping out the rest of the population to declare himself king, well, we understood it was satiric, but it cut close enough to a truthful impulse that it was fun to laugh about over the fourth or fifth Point Special of the night. Besides, the song paired great with station favorite “If I Had a Rocket Launcher,” by the great and perpetually underrated Bruce Cockburn. Having an ideal segue at the ready always helped a song achieve extra prominence at the station.
Listen or download –> Ed Haynes, “I Want to Kill Everybody”
(Disclaimer: As I typed out last time, I believe Ed Haynes Sings Ed Haynes to be well out of print. As I don’t believe there’s a way to purchase a new copy of this release in a manner that compensates both Mr. Haynes and the proprietor of your favorite local, independently-owned record store, I am sharing this here with the understanding to doing so will not unduly impede fair commerce. Haynes has a couple of self-released albums that can be bought online. Do check them out. I will gladly and promptly remove this track from the interweb if asked to do so by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)