Last night's presidential debate was in Nashville, but today John McCain will be singing the blues.
McCain needed a clear and outright win in this contest with Barack Obama, who has been gradually pulling away from him in opinion polls.
Instead it was a dull affair, and badly moderated to boot.
McCain was negative -- but only about policy, as both he and the questioners stayed away from the recent controversies about Obama's personal friends and associates.
In fact, the substance of the evening's discussion was a virtual repeat of their first debate 12 days ago.
The morning-after analysis focused on the format and the body language -- and that's where Obama was a winner.
The "town hall" set-up was a bit of a joke. This was just a TV set with "ordinary people" reading out pre-selected questions.
McCain allegedly prospers with this sort of "informality", but he was awkward here. One big reason, believe it or not, was the height of the stools they were given to sit on. The lanky Obama could comfortably stretch his legs to the floor.
McCain couldn't. So he mostly stood or leaned awkwardly, then started pacing while Obama was speaking.
So we were back to McCain as a narky old man -- and he's already got that demographic sewn up.
He even allowed his contempt for Obama to show when discussing an energy bill laden down with tax breaks for big oil firms, which he said he voted against. He said: "You know who voted for it? That one." That's no way to talk about anyone, let alone an opponent who is popular with many, if not most Americans.
In light of his own obviously irritable behaviour, it was ironic that McCain said that the United States needs "a cool hand at the tiller" and unfortunate for him that one only had to look across the room to see Cool Hand Barack.
Obama had some of his usual debating problems -- of hesitancy and vagueness especially. But he looked in charge of the situation and ready to be president. Neither man was persuasive on the economic crisis, though McCain offered the most specific and ambitious solution -- saying his administration would buy up America's bad mortgages to "stabilise home values".
And he went after Obama about the history of bad lending policy at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: "There were some of us who stood up against it. There were others who took a hike."
Obama retorted: "I gotta correct a little bit of Senator McCain's history, not surprisingly." In the end, history was McCain's main crutch. He talked repeatedly about his "record" -- the military stuff, but also "I've been all over the world looking at the effects of greenhouse gases" -- to draw a contrast with the neophyte Obama. He talked about Herbert Hoover, Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt.
But will it count? Americans are not renowned for their knowledge and concern about history.
Obama turned once to his own personal history, when talking around healthcare, recalling how his mother died of "cancer at the age of 53 and [had] to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies".
Obama couched many of his foreign policy criticisms of McCain, and of President Bush, in terms of the damage the Republicans have done to America's reputation and finances: "We don't have either the resources or the allies to do all that we should be doing."
But Obama also made it clear he would be prepared to lead the US into more global interventions: "When genocide is happening, when ethnic cleansing is happening, somewhere around the world, and we stand idly by, we are diminished."
The two men debate one more time, next week.
On the evidence of last night, John McCain is not capable of delivering the performance that can turn this race around.