Ballad of Big Nothing
By: Elliott Smith

Original Performance: Elliott Smith
Written by: Elliott Smith

Live Versions:
  1. Ballad of Big Nothing
 
Lyrics:
Ballad of Big Nothing [Live version (a)]:

From Beck's performance:

Throwing candy out to the crowd
Dragging down the main
The hopeless little thing with the dirty mouth
Who has always got something to say
You sit around at home now
Waiting for your brother to call
I saw him down in the alley
Having had enough of it all

You can do what you want to
Whenever you want to
You can do what you want to
There's no-one to stop you

All spit and spite, you're up all night
And down every day
A tired man with only hours to go
Just waiting to be taken away
Getting into the back of a car
For candy from some stranger
Watching the parade with pinpoint eyes
Full of smoldering anger

You can do what you want to
Whenever you want to
You can do what you want to
There's no-one to stop you

You can do what you want to
Whenever you want to
Do what you want to
Whenever you want to
Do what you want to
Whenever you want
Though it doesn't mean a thing
Big nothing
 
The Song:

"Ballad of Big Nothing" is a song from Elliott Smith's album, Either-Or.

After Smith died, Beck appeared at his tribute concert, playing three of Elliott's songs: this one, "Alameda," and "Clementine."  Beck and Smith fell in the same Los Angeles songwriter circle (though granted, Beck falls in many musical circles). Both had a record on Bong Load Records. They were friends, hung out together. Beck even commented that he and Elliott had talked of working together. (Read here, the October 22 entry.)

Beck's version of the song is nice, but you can kind of tell he had not really sung it much before.
 
Live:

Played live once:
November 3, 2003

Beck has only played this song once.
 
original

 
Notes: