This is a great song to listen to on days when nothing seems to be going right. In my case: when driving my blind sister around in a delapidated taxi, with broken windows, and a gas meter on empty. The best line in my opinion is: "Blind or crippled, Sharp or dull. I'm reading the Bible by a 40 watt bulb. What price freedom. Dirt is my rug.
Well I sleep like a baby with the snakes and the bugs". I love this track! Keith Richards played lead guitar and sings backing vox on this one. Their voices/styles mesh together very well. It's one of the more bluesy tracks on the record, but it's done very well...not like a lame neo-white boy blues revival thing. It's actually believable...after all, IT'S TOM WAITS FOR CHRIST SAKE! I think this is one of the more powerful songs on the record. Well...maybe a toss-up between this one and "Chocolate Jesus"...or "Hold on"...or "Get Behind the Mule" (you can't beat the lyric: "Punctuated birds on the power line. In a Studebaker with the Birdie Joe Joaks. I'm diggin all the way to China with a silver spoon, while the hangman fumbles with the noose..."). Hell...it's just a damn good record.
There is much that U2 did in their first three albums (Boy, October, War) that have been forgotten by the clout caused by their next three (The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, Rattle and Hum). When people say they don't much like U2, it's largely based off of only the singles from War up through Achtung Baby. This song is representative of songs, for even some sincere U2 fans, that have been forgotten injustly. Brilliant structure and chords, somewhat cheesy but ultimately highly forgivable middle section.
If you ask any industry bigwig right now what�s gonna be the next big thing, they�ll all say the same, �Sea Shanties�. Every one of them. You think I�m joking? Well listen up ignorami because I�m not.
You might have noticed ripples rolling in from the Indie scene on both shores of the Atlantic, as The Coral, The Decemberists, and others, have romanticised the plight of the seafarer, but now Shanties are due to hit the mainstream, and hard. As I write this Richard X is in his London studio working on the final mix of �Salty Seadog�, an explosive slab of �neo-shant� purred over seductively by Rachel Stevens. Cathy Dennis, my old pal from our days changing skates at Norwich Rollerama, told me yesterday that she�s just sold three �Shanties� to some �top name artists�. For legal reasons I�m not allowed to say who, but let me assure you these are white hot names. The kind of names that kids get on their knees and pray to. So, you see, Shanties are big business. I�ve also heard that Jennifer Lopez, J-Lo, �Loopy� Lopez, Jell-O, whatever, never one to miss a passing fad, is rumoured to be changing her name to One-Eyed-Jenny. Make of that what you will, might just be street talk. Now what concerns me is the forthcoming release from Britney Spears. This you may have heard about. It�s called, �Wingin�, Blingin� and Not!�, and it�s a �fresh� adaptation of the 19th century poem/song, �Winkin�, Blinkin� and Nod� by Eugene Field. I know this song from the glorious version by Cass Elliot�s pre-fame folk trio, The Big Three. It�s less a shanty than a bewitching lullaby, intended to lull a child into restful slumber, as Winkin� and gang sailed not in rusting trawler through the bleak North Sea, but, �in a wooden shoe/off on a river of crystal light/into a sea of dew.� And it contains some of the most hauntingly beautiful oooh ooohs and aahh ahhs ever waxed, as Tim Rose and Mama Cass harmonise the rolling waves of slumber. Nevertheless because of it�s sea-faring theme (�we�re going fishing for the herring fish/that live in the beautiful sea�), it�ll probably get caught up in the nets of the inevitable �Sea Shanty Fever� cash-in compilations that will soon litter our shores like syringes and floor tiling. I wanted to draw your attention to it now before it gets beaten blue and bloody by the Spears, and rattles out over supermarket tannoys the world over.
from The Big Three
n-jeff: Obviously Mr Scruff is well ahead of the field then, with three songs about Fish (ing) on his first LP... tonyharte: Yo ho ho, me hearties. Well I never. Thanks for the tip/warning Rum (where's the bum and baccy?)
I predict that this year (in the UK) will belong to The Coral. konsu: Um... what about Weens album "The Mollusk"? That was shit was shanty-city! So, whats next? Weavers laments??