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Clive Smythe

This song is by Richard Thompson and appears on the album Cabaret Of Souls (2012).

Clive Smythe's the name - so memorable, it rhymes
You might have read my column in The Times
Art Critic is the game
Watch me praise, watch me blame
Be it masterpiece or some pretentious crime

If I seem a little smug, somewhat aloof
Well, I am a cut above, and here's the proof
I was educated well at the Slade and Camberwell
In the finals all my scores were through the roof!

If opinions are required, I'm never shy
I can look the struggling artist in the eye
And with considerable brain
(Yet sensitive to his pain)
I puff out my chest, and give the fearful cry -

I condemn you!
I reject you!
What piffle - what drivel - I disrespect you!
You call this art?
I call it doodle
I've seen more talent from my mother's poodle!

You are exposed!
You are forsaken!
You stole your cheap ideas from Francis Bacon
Your aesthetics I deplore
It might help matters if you learned to draw…

I was there when Jackson Pollock did his dribbles
And I swore he was a genius - no quibbles
And if Rothko paints a square
And calls it Art, I'll be there
And of course there is the free wine and the nibbles

As a critic I no stranger to bravado
Great art may be a slice of avocado
Why that cow of Damien Hirst
That some said was the worst
I said was right up there with Leonardo

If opinions are required I'm never shy
I can look the struggling artist in the eye
And with fatherly concern
That he heeds my words and learn
I puff out my chest and give the fearful cry -

I condemn you!
I abhor you!
Criminal! Imposter!
I deplore you!
You call this art? I call it mush
You shouldn't be entrusted with a brush

O where's the candor?
O where's the wit?
It's like a toddler playing with his shit
Is this impasto or melted cheese?
Have they started giving paints to chimpanzees?

Don't waste my time!
Don't waste my time!
Don't waste my time!

Written by:

Richard Thompson

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