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Cellphone Service

from Blackbirds by Alex Hickey

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The first time I met Shelah Allen, now my friend and manager, she told me this story which effortlessly transformed into a song. I took a little poetic license, but the song owes a huge debt to Shelah’s genius as a storyteller.


Oh! there ain’t no cellphone service on this road
No, there ain’t no cellphone service on this road
There ain’t no cellphone service and I’m feelin’ mighty nervous
Because there ain’t no cellphone service on this road

Well, I set out a-drivin’ all alone
I got things to do and places to go
Goin’ up to Antigonish, gonna hear some sweet music
Even though there ain’t no...

Gee, it sure is pretty on this road
With the wildflowers blue and pink and gold
Trees and rocks and little lakes
there is no better road to take
Even though there ain’t no....

I’m keeping a close eye upon the road
For deer and squirrels and porcupines and crows
Cause if I swerve off in the ditch that would be an awful glitch
Because there ain’t no...

What happened next
I don’t exactly know
But suddenly my muffler started to go
First I heard it shake and rattle then I heard it lose the battle
And damn, there ain’t no...

And I see a truck parked just a little way ahead
And whaddaya know, it belongs to my buddies Frank and Ed
I know that they’ll give me a ride but damn! there’s nobody inside
And have I mentioned there’s no...

Then Frank and Ed come walking out of the trees
I guess I look confused ’cause they both smile at me
Wave their cellphones in the air and say “There’s a signal on the hill up there
And had you noticed there’s no...”

I’m stuck in my independent ways
I say “That’s great, I’ll just climb up the hill and call CAA”
And they say, “Darlin’, what’s your trouble? Bet we can fix it on the double
And you don’t need no...”

So they jerry-rigged it and followed me into town
Just to make sure I got there safe and sound
At the g’rage they helped without delay and sent me on my merry way
And all without no cellphone...

I think back just 20 years ago
There were hardly cellphones anywhere, least of all on this road
And I’m reminded to depend on family, neighbours and on friends
We don’t need no cellphone...

Oh, there ain’t no cellphone service on this road...
Just because there ain’t no cellphone service on this road


from Blackbirds, released September 18, 2012




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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