Ben Folds is typically fond of sharing his personal friends’ stories and experiences in his songs, but he’s switching it up for his collaboration with author Nick Hornby. In the upcoming album Lonely Avenue, Folds writes the music and sings to Hornby’s lyrics, and the duo’s first released track is “Levi Johnston’s Blues.” The piano-led tune chronicles the change in the unlikely pop-culture figure’s life upon getting mixed up in the weird world of Sarah Palin. Listen to it over at Consequence of Sound, or check out the live version below.
A song about the newly-engaged mommy and daddy might sound like a joke on the surface, but it’s actually an introspective look at a young man forced to grow up fast and take on responsibilities he’s not ready for. “When I try to tell them I’m eighteen years old,” Folds sings from the point of view of Johnston, “They say Levi, it’s too late, you gotta do as you’re told.”
Plus, how can you do anything but love a song that has the chorus, “I’m a fuckin’ redneck, I live to hang out with the boys / Play some hockey, do some fishing, kill some moose / I like to shoot the shit and do some chillin’, I guess / Ya fuck with me and I’ll kick your ass.”
Ben and Nick neglected to reference Levi’s Playgirl centerfold in the song, unless, of course, Ben is saving that for another ditty he’ll perform on Chatroulette.