Pay No Mind (Rambler)
By: Beck Hansen
Written by: Beck Hansen

This Version:
  • Pay No Mind (Rambler)
[from August 2, 2002 - "One Pinkie to Freedom Version"]

This is the D-chord right here. Lot of people don't know that the chord of D is the most perfect classic rock chord, because it very easily does this... it's just one little pinkie to freedom. Taste the glory right there.

I wrote this song about 10 years ago and I just realized recently that right around that time, there was another song. And you know how sometimes songs come out, sort of unconscious, maybe you just heard the song passing from a car late at night. It went in there somewhere and it enters in to your song. And so I realized that this song that I wrote ten years ago was actually:

I'm free, free-fallin'!
Yea I'm free fall, free-fallin'!

But somehow my song didn't have that much freedom in that. There was a little bit of a chain-link vibe going on to it. That's why I've added this little ending to the song, just to tap into some...

Freeeeee! That feels really fucking good.
Free-fallin'! Yea yea yea

[from August 11, 2002 - "Days of '92 Version"]

Right now, I'd like to take you back to the early '90s. Feelin' a little nostalgiac.

When the grunge was young, yea yea
What was going on then? Paula Abdul?
Paula Abdul was working in the sun yea yea
In the days of '92
Back in the days of '92 yea yea
Born in the '90s yea!
Nobody had any clothes that fit them
'Cause it wasn't cool to wear anything tight
Back in the days of '92, yea!

[Then Beck sang two verses of "Pay No Mind"]

This was a protest song, written in a time when there wasn't a lot to protest. So you just kinda protested whatever was there. 99-cent stores and 98-cent stores. 97-cent stores. I was personally protesting flourescent lighting at the time.

Lot of hard times in the protest days of '92
Down at the rally, oh yea!
People making a stand for something they believe in
Back in the days of '92!
And then the cops came to the rally in '92
And the riots broke out and the city was on fire
Protest singers running for their lives
Fucking harmonica holders whacking them in the face
That's the price you gotta pay
Standing in the protest line, yea!

People running up and down, up the streets through the city...back in '92!
Helicopters flying and ? coming down in the city back in '92
But over in the valley, things were looking pretty nice
Tom Petty sitting in his house Encino estate
Playing some shit that sounded like this:

I'm free! Free-fallin'! Encino! Free-fallin'!
Fucking feels good to sing it like that
Back in the days of '92

[from August 18, 2002 - "Brilliant Marketing Idea version"]

[Beck tells the usual story about the rallies and protest singing and when you run from the cops, the harmonica holder hits you in the face.]

Protest singing business is dangerous
Got 17 bruises up and down my face
Seems like the protest singers paying the biggest price of all
No nose like a protest-singer nose
Back in the days of '92, yea
Back in the days of '92 when the shit was goin' down
99-cent store open up next to the 97-cent store
That was a brilliant marketing idea
Just sell your shit 2 cents cheaper
Everybody's gonna come over here
Violent revolution at the 99-cent store
We're not gonna pay 2 cents more
That's when they call in the protest singers
"We will not pay two cents more, no no!"
Tom Jones said, "We will not be moved, two cents"
Paid some dues on the protest singing

[from November 16, 2002 - "Brilliant Marketing Idea version"]

[two normal verses of 'Pay No Mind']

This song is a song, written back in the '90s
Back in the early '90s
Back in the days of '91
It was a protest song
Written in the time when there wasn't a whole lot to protest
But you know, there was different things goin' on
Different rallies and things
And you needed a folksinger on hand to make it legitimate
So it was written in the key of D
Which is a great key for protesting

The other great thing about the chord D
Is if you play it just right
One little pinkie away from freedom
[plays chord]
That's high impact freedom right there
That's something I learned out at the
Folksinging Protest Institute Of Technology
One of the thigns they don't teach you though
Is when you're down at the rally and the riot cops show up
And there's confusion and the cops pull out their clubs
ANd people are running in different directions
And there's smoke and cars are burning
People are running for their lives
Folksingers running, their harmonica holder fucking up their faces
Being a folksinger is never easy
It's the price you have to pay!
To be free!
Free! Free-fallin'!
Tom Petty knew a little something about freedom
Yesterday I woke up late, had a little thing down at the hotel
Had a little steam room, see a guy out the corner of my eyes
Had a couple of barbells pumpin' it up
It was the keyboard player for Tom Petty
He asked me if I knew a little something about freedom
Said I did
I'm free! Free-fallin'!
Yes I'm freeeeeeee! Free-falliiiiiiiiiiiiiin!
The Song:

This page is going to be for the rambling, long "Pay No Mind"s that Beck has been doing since the end of 2001 or so. Instead of making new verses like he often did back in the day, he's been telling the same stories over and over. It'd be nice to hear a solid, un-wacky "Pay No Mind" once in awhile. But oh well, this is what "Pay No Mind" is like right now, loose and funny and rambling. Not a protest song. Sometimes a protest song against 99-cent stores. One pinkie away from "Free Fallin'."

Played live 8 times:
Earliest known live version: August 2, 2002
Latest known live version: November 16, 2002