Being Watson

from by Kari Maaren

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about

This is my Sherlock Holmes song. I am very fond of the Holmes material and often point out to anyone who cares, which is generally no one, that I started working Holmes stuff into my webcomic West of Bathurst almost a year before Hollywood released its Holmes film and the current Holmes fad really got going. However, it's Watson who fascinates me. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once referred to him in an interview as Holmes's "rather stupid friend," but I prefer to think of him as simply not a scarily logical analytical machine person. In this song, he has his say.

lyrics

Being Watson

Mrs. Hudson showed another client
Into Flat B;
You knew what he wanted right away.
That didn’t stop you
From approaching me
To see if I had anything to say.
I got it wrong, of course.
I always do.
I’m not sure why I even try.
I’m not stupid,
But I’m not you.
We’re very different, you and I.

I can’t help admiring
Your enormous brain,
Which analyses everything with ease,
Without effort,
Without pain,
And everybody just says, “Mr. Holmes, please.”
Most of the time,
I am content
To simply lurk behind.
But every now and then,
I resent
That you never dream I’d mind

Being Watson.
Shunted slightly to the side.
Being backup:
Always bridesmaid, never bride.
I have wondered
In odd moments of ennui
How you would handle being me:
Being Watson.

Later, you became more brilliant
And more precise
Solving scores of puzzling cases that
Left me breathless,
Without advice,
Growing stupid and, for some reason, fat.
The contrast made you
Shine more bright,
While I pranced like a buffoon.
More than ever,
You did everything right;
I was a cartoon.

Being Watson.
You were sky, and I was soil.
Being always
Seen as nothing but a foil.
You got brighter;
I got obviously dim.
Were you happy you weren’t him?
You weren’t Watson.

And I sometimes think it's all right.
And I sometimes just lean back and let you shine.
But I sometimes wish the glory
Of the story I was telling could be mine.
It's mostly fine.

Now we've ventured
Out into space
In pursuit of crime.
We've changed gender;
We've changed race;
We've travelled through time.
We've met Cthulhu.
We've turned bad.
We've been lovers, though discreet.
We've cured cancer.
We've gone mad
From the shadows over Baker Street.

I'm brighter now,
But still I find
That no matter how far
We go, I'm that same
Step behind.
We've changed, but we're still what we are.
I'd break away,
But I'm constrained
By my own perfect loyalty.
It's a bit
Like being chained.
I just hope someday you'll see

Being Watson
Would be really hard for you.
Being silent
Is what not everyone can do.
You solve cases;
Though I suppose that is a start,
I'm the one who turns them into art.

Being Watson
Isn't always fun, but hey:
Being different
Must be worse. And anyway,
You've existed
So ridiculously long,
And still you could never write this song.
That's why I'm Watson.

credits

from Everybody Hates Elves, released April 8, 2015
Written and performed by Kari Maaren

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about

Kari Maaren Toronto, Ontario

Kari Maaren is a Toronto musician who plays geeky ukulele songs about monsters and superheroes. She isn't sure why, but it amuses her, so that's all right.

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