TP logo

| Books | Music | Events | New work | Contact & ordering

Lay for the Day
18th October

1926: Chuck Berry is born in East St Louis, Missouri.
Who could resist revisiting ‘Johnny B. Goode’? We couldn’t.


Zero came from the desert with nothing but hunger,
Rolling into the city to be a high number.
He said, I came out of nowhere and I’m running on empty
But if I hadn’t been there you’d’ve had to invent me.

So he sleeps in a doorway and gets treated like nothing
But he dreams of the big day in a world where he’s something.
Yes he dreams that he’s Midas or some maharajah
And whatever he touches just gets larger and larger.

Go, go, Zero.
Go, go, Zero.

Now he’s low as he could go and his rags are in tatters,
Still he knows in his own soul it’s the journey that matters
And he knows in the end he’ll be up on that mountain,
Clouds at his feet and sunlight around him.

Getting by from day to day is daily getting harder.
We don’t live by bread alone but we can’t live on nada.

Now he’s wheeling and dealing with a nod and a handshake.
For this deal that he’s sealing they’ll hand him a blank cheque.
And when it’s all over, in a big white Mercedes,
He heads off with the chauffeur and several young ladies.

Go, go, Zero.
Go, go, Zero.

Now Zero’s the be-all and Zero’s the end-all,
The wheel in a wheel that returns to sender.
He spins like a gold ring, all round the hero,
So you go and do your thing and be bigger than zero.

Go, go, Zero.
Go, go, Zero.


Words and music by The Children


The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar