These lyrics are from a Guess Who album released in 1973 entitled #10…Moe Berg (TPOS), whom I admire greatly, once posted that #10 was a “great album”…ironically, Jack Richardson, our long time Guess Who producer, once said in print “#10 is Ka-Ka”…I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder…I always liked these lyrics, and, for that matter, all of #10…oh well…to each his own…


Sure like to boogie after death comes callin’
Sure like rockin’ when I’m far away
“Ooh Pooh Pah Doo” is lettin’ Jesse watch the heavens
Paint another picture while you’re turning grey

Everything I knew about was always American
Skip a stone lightly and you’ll be okay
Never really get my rockin’ feet to movin’
Till somebody’s singing “Not Fade Away”

Got mystery train fever, and I’m a believer
And go down Moses, and I’ll send you red roses
Despair, and death at an early age

You sang about truckin’ and the band had it movin’
If you were a lizard then you might be gone
A little self-indulgence never moved a mountain
Don’t need the fiddler yellin’ “Yeah, right on!”

You’re my angel from a wet salvation
You can buy and sell me so you shine me on
Your mama worked hard and the acid made you think about it
Why, mother water, are the days all gone

Got mystery train fever, and I’m a believer
And go down Moses, and I’ll send you red roses
Despair, and death at an early age

About Burton Cummings

Recipient, Order of Canada & Order of Manitoba. Voice & Songwriter: American Woman (6m+ plays), These Eyes, (5m+ plays) & Stand Tall.


  1. Nick Joseph says

    One of my absolute favourites plus I’ll never forget you mouthing out to your own voice when you use to go live with your friend Ernie I loved it I was singing along with your voice like I always do lol anyways rock on Burton!

  2. Cincy Mike says

    Love Self Pity and all of #10. It is the closest thing to a Burton Cummings solo album the Guess Who ever did in my opinion. One of my favorite songs of all time is Lie Down. “Born in years of later 40’s, never pampered or advised, it was wise to be chasing after something bright a tawny.” Now those are thought provoking lyrics man. And Glamour Boy is pure genius. The last song on #10 is the epic Just Let Me Sing. Kevin Suter has told me several times he saw the Guess Who on year at the CNE where you played the song with the backing of a full horn section. I’d give anything to hear a recording of that!! Cincy

  3. Sharon Pilkington says

    As the saying goes you are your own worst critic. A lot of people out there have a hard time with their own work.

  4. Janet Rickard says

    It still IS a great album. Especially fond of Take it off my Shoulders and Just let me Sing. Perhaps someday you’ll grace us with a performance of one or two of them.

  5. Daniel Hudelson says

    Interesting to hear that Jack Richardson thought #10 was “ka-ka”. “Self Pity”, “Cardboard Empire”, “Glamour Boy”, & “Just Let Me Sing” are examples of some pretty nice production, along with some nice arranging (not looking…Brian Christian?). I hadn’t been that keen on some of his production, but it seemed like something clicked with Artificial Paradise, and again with #10. Perhaps it was kaka because he didn’t hear a hit single?
    #10 is a very well-unified LP, even the green cover seems a little damn surley. Opening with “Take It Off My Shoulders” was such a departure from the typical upbeat approach. Starting out the record with something that sounded like the next day after a bad trip… or maybe after too many years on the tour/record/tour treadmill? A very esteemed man on the pedal steel, Ron Halldorson.
    “Musicioné” also gives me the image of this post-trip character, maybe after his “Hang Onto Your Life” frenzy had subsided.
    “Miss Frizzy” is maybe the odd duck… or is that perception, knowing it was written a couple years earlier? A pretty good tune – left & right electrics with the piano underpinning rather than Randy’s surround earlier fingerstyle acoustic tracks. A song about nookie, mixed in with all that dire depressed stuff.
    “Just Let Me Sing” is catharsis. One of the most fun tunes in the GW library. Perfect yin to the yang of “Take If Off My Shoulders”.
    One of the best Guess Who LPs, IMO.

  6. Kelly says

    Sour Suite is my all-time favourite song. It is a masterpiece.

    I’m a Winnipeger too. Grew-up in West Kildonan.

    My Dad once said that he remembers hearing the guys practicing in a garage just down the backlane in the same street where we were – either it was Rupertsland or Enniskillen.

  7. Mike Horne says

    Hi Burton, I was with jumbo Martin and buddy Kirby at the north end Y when I met you . You were being hassled by some guy about your long hair just after you finish singing
    Louie Louie wailing from the top of your piano . I hung around Connie‘s restaurant with the boys you were awesome and then and even better now keep up the good work hope to see you another time.

  8. Roman Mitz says

    #10 was the current GW album when I saw them for the first time at the CNE in 1974. The show was significant for two reasons; it was my first date with my wife and it was the first and last time I saw Kurt Winter. The show on Friday at the Ex was fantastic, and I particularly liked your solo career numbers. Here’s a pic from the show plus one from 1977 when my wife and I met you at the record release party for My Own Way To Rock. Keep on rockin’!

  9. Joyce Conroy says

    I love your voice on this. Nice and gritty, full of spunk. Bless you for the reference to Jesse Hill.