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11 Kinds of Itchy

from Blackbirds by Alex Hickey

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I began this song at the Red Roof Women’s Music Festival in 2008 (out of fairness to the organizers, I must say that they did offer showers to all of the performers at the festival, I just chose not to take them up on it). The song really didn’t take flight, though, until working with James Keelaghan at Road to Stanfest in 2011. That’s when the bridge and key change were born. I was so excited to write a key change—my first ever—that I danced around, grinning like a little kid. Thanks, James.


It’s been three days since I had a shower
Or even splashed hot water on my face
I got skeeter bites and black fly bites and
Horse fly bites and spider bites
I got bruises that are healin’ and a peelin’ sunburn too
I’m 11 kinds of itchy
And the worst itch is the one I have for you

You are something else
Beautiful and brilliant and dark
Oh! you play like Etheridge and you sing like a lark
And when you look into my eyes I fall like the morning dew
I’m 11 kinds of itchy
And the worst itch is the one I have for you

Just the far side of my shoulder blade
There’s a bite that I can’t scratch
Though I’ve twisted and I’ve tangled myself up in knots
Only you can get it
only you can set it right
But you’re 400 miles away
And oh yeah, you’re not mine tonight

You just keep stringing me along
You say you want me
But then you’re gone
I can’t keep on tearing in two
But I can’t stop longing for you-oo

Accepting that you’re out of reach
Is something I don’t think that I can do
I’d do anything, except wait for you
I’d climb a mountain, swim a river, but I can’t do the time
I’m 11 kinds of itchy, have mercy, oh! be mine


from Blackbirds, released September 18, 2012


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Alex Hickey West Dublin, Nova Scotia

Alex Hickey is a Nova Scotian songwriter whose songs walk a delicate line between cynicism and a passionate love for the world. Clever and poignant, funny, heartbreaking and punch-to-the-guts honest, every CD or live performance should come with a packet of tissues. ... more

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