HPV Vaccine Song

from by Kevin Dickerson



“Your booking is complete”
Said the message on my laptop screen
For a room I procrastinated booking for my return to Mexico
That’s right, I was there a few weeks ago and I decided to come right back

Please don’t ask me why I like Mexico City
I’ll just tell you to visit it if you want to see it
You have to decide for yourself why you like a place
Or if you even like to travel at all

Maybe you’re a homebody
maybe you’re afraid of the dark

I might not be bilingual after two weeks, but it’ll be a good start
and again I’m staying on the edge of Mexico Park

Mexico is filled with beautiful people and places and things
Like beautiful guitars with steel or nylon strings

And wonderful food that’s amazing
It makes the san francisco bay look bad in comparison

Except for places like Dominica’s restaurant Cosecha in Oakland
Which I’d still eat at all the time if I wasn’t priced out of my old neighborhood
And the weather’s warm
that’s where food comes from
since it’s so close to the tropic of Cancer
If you don’t want cancer
Eat food that’s grown near the tropic of cancer

I’m gone for July 4th
Which is just another day in the united states of the apocalypse
There’s no escaping the united states of the apocalypse cycle of internet news stations
Even on a rooftop overlooking an Aztec temple a few days ago I was overhearing conversations
From some young Italians about how Americans feel about their nation’s heartlessness
And about how the bizarre the system of health care is
In the united states of the apocalypse

I know there are those of you who are thinking a thought
I love America, it’s where I was born
But I grew up in the last frontier, not in your version of America
And I love the entire world

And for those of you who might ask, Kevin, is Mexico City safe?
I’d direct you to pick up a newspaper
And hold the paper up

Compare your skin to the color of the paper
and the ink that’s printed on it

I live in a place where my future isn’t certain because I have to put effort into making it
If you want to find out how to live longer
Ask a petri dish containing what’s left of Henrietta Lacks
Or find my mother’s grave and ask her somewhere in Alaska
About what it means to be safe in America
And then to die from a preventable death
like a death from cervical cancer

Maybe it’s not brown people you need to be afraid of
Maybe it’s the people in white lab coats

It’s not a bullet to be frightened of
But the death that comes unexpectedly slowly

And no, I’m not saying all doctors are bad
I’ve sung pretty songs about several of them in fact
I’m just trying to put things in perspective for you
Since you can’t ask Angela Hathaway

It was Pride Weekend in san francisco
I went to Dolores park and it was tolerable for a brief time
and there was some sun for a brief time
maybe 60 or 90 minutes before the fog came
the wind started blowing the trash around
and a man took our empty cans
And every place was packed with a bunch of bridge and tunnel wasteoids

And everyone wanted to talk about sex and beer and public nudity
And I said guys this conversation is kind of boring
Can we talk about something other than getting laid
And my friend said “I only got laid four times this year”

And then after a bit more than one acquaintance started pushing me to ask when I’m going to get married
And although I was polite and answered their questions, on the inside I felt like telling them to fuck off
Not like fuck off and die, but like what the fuck do you care?
Mind your own business, if you want to get married go get married
it’s not as hard as it used to be in the united states of the apocalypse
No matter who you want to marry or sleep with

Heather is getting married today
I’m happy for her
she told me she has butterflies
and she’s so happy
correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what really matters?

I’ve always been different
I’ve always try to say what I think
I don’t always get there and I’ve failed in the past
but I try to encourage people to be themselves

but sometimes it doesn’t seem like people want to be themselves
Sometimes it seems like people just want to be like everyone else
Heather’s a black sheep too
And she might be down at the courthouse right now

The conversation turned to recreational drug use
And I explained I don’t really do drugs

And then to the notion of expanding your consciousness
And freeing yourself of inhibitions
I said, “Free your mind, and your ass will follow,” right?
But the guy I was talking to was too young and from Sri Lanka and he didn’t get the reference

And this young engineer, wearing a Patagonia jacket and shorts
proceeded to explain to me
a fairly lengthy list of rules and procedures
for the best way to take hallucinogenic mushrooms

And I said, why is it that everyone who tells me about how liberating it is to do hallucinogenics
Seems to have a well-rehearsed script
with many many many highly specific rules and specifications
That must be followed in order to have a “good trip”

I said my girlfriend is on a trip right now
In Italy in fact, and probably drinking a chilled glass of rosé
sitting in a nice warm chair somewhere outside in Venice
That sounds pretty good to me

and she just sent me a photo
And it looked just one of the scenes from the second season of Master of None
there she is in front of some beautiful hills
there she is in front of an old wall
there she is in Pisa in Italy

And eventually the guy with the $300 jacket and shorts
said he was cold, and that he couldn’t handle the cold
And I said I’m with you on this one
And it was time for me to go

Just another day left in the united states
of the apocalypse
before my second vacation in two months
I just want to get out of the city
And to go somewhere where I don’t know anyone

I’m at Tiny Telephone right now
Singing these words for you
Today’s a special day, we listened to Neil Young’s Hitchhiker in the control room
And we listened to him talk about how much he loved Peru

The echo chamber is right over there
Maybe I’ll ask Beau to send my voice through it
Like we did on “Last Night I got Into an Argument
with my girlfriend about Aziz Ansari”

I just got a bunch of vaccines
Down at a medical office in the Castro
For my trip tomorrow to Mexico
And mentally compared my physical appearance
to the male nurse who injected me
so I’m packing my running shoes

And we talked about how vaccines sting
I got vaccines for mumps, measles and rubella
and hepatitis A and B
And we talked about how those don't sting as bad as the vaccine for HPV


from Sunburst, released November 2, 2018
Kevin Dickerson - Words, vocals, Spanish guitar
Andrew Maguire - Percussion, drums, marimba, Buchla Music Easel

Written by Kevin Dickerson
Engineered by Beau Sorenson
Produced by Beau Sorenson and Kevin Dickerson
Recorded at Tiny Telephone, San Francisco
Mastered by Jacob Winik
Album Art by Kevin Dickerson


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Kevin Dickerson San Francisco, California

Kevin Dickerson is a singer-songwriter who lives in San Francisco. His latest full-length album is called "Ginger Grapefruit."

Follow @kevindickerson on Instagram, Twitter

Photo: Kristin Cofer

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