Listen | Cowboy Junkies – My Only Guarantee

Cowboy Junkies have released a boxed set called Notes Falling Slow, and it contains three remastered studio albums, Open, One Soul Now, At The End Of Paths Taken, and “a fourth disc that contains newly recorded songs that were written during the making of the three albums.” You can find more information about it here.

The Junkies’ music is a huge reason why Speakers in Code exists, mainly because of no-bullshit songs such as “My Only Guarantee,” which you can find on At The End of Paths Taken. It boasts this line:

My only guarantee:

I will fuck you up.

In 2008, I asked Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies about “My Only Guarantee,” and here’s what she said:

Your last album, At the End of Paths Taken, closed with “My Only Guarantee,” a song about parenting. Is that a personal song for you? Do you not play that one live?

Well, it was in our repertoire to play live. We didn’t pick it up, though; it sort of stayed dormant. But not for any reason, only because we have so many songs. You know, yeah it’s personal in that we all have kids. Do you have kids?

No, I don’t.

Well, it’s an adventure. I think anybody with kids who is honest about being a parent would connect with that song. You spend so much time trying to make the right decision for your children, whether you should go organic or not, or they should go to this school or that school, or take dance or not take dance, sleep in your bed, not sleep in your bed… (Laughs) And, I think that, really, in the end, and I think that we—this generation of parents—are even worse about making these decisions; we’re just so worried about our children’s psyche all the time. I think in the end, no matter how hard you try, you’re going to fuck up your children, because…you just are. Certainly you are more so if you abuse them, but even if you’re just trying your hardest, in the end… I’m now in my mid-40s —I don’t know anyone who is not normal, I mean, we’re all mental! (Laughs)

That song is almost “Do your best,” but they’re going to be screwed up—not by you, by the world—because you can’t make all the right decisions. I mean, you put them in piano, maybe they would have been Jimi Hendrix if you’d have given them a guitar. So, who knows, and I think just give yourself permission to realize you’re doing your best, but it’s going to be fucked up.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment