mercredi, janvier 31, 2007

because i can't

I can do many things, and I'm pretty good at a few of those things. But there's one gift that I didn't get ... the ability to sing well (loudly, on key, in the registers, and with the range I'd like).

Over the years, I've thought about the voice I'd want if I had this talent. It usually involved some combination of Chrissy Hynde (the Pretenders), Annie Lennox, and Shirley Manson (Garbage). But this Sunday, I was driving home when I heard the Cowboy Junkies' version of The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane," and I decided to forsake these sirens for a new favorite: Margo Timmins.

In case you've forgotten the song:

But it's not about one song. Several Cowboy Junkies songs have hit me in just the right way lately, including "Five Room Love Story," "Blue Moon," and "Misguided Angel."

If you haven't heard Margo sing "Misguided Angel" live, you're missing one of the experiences that make us human. Her hauntingly beautiful voice complements the heartbreaking lyrics perfectly. As someone else said ... "listen to the song. It might just change a few things for you."

The lyrics:
I said "mama, he's crazy and he scares me
But I want him by my side.
Though he's wild and he's bad,
And sometimes just plain mad,
I need him to keep me satisfied."

I said "papa, don't cry 'cause it's alright,
And I see you in some of his ways.
Though he might not give me the life that you wanted,
I'll love him the rest of my days."

Misguided angel hangin' over me
Heart like a Gabriel, pure and white as ivory
Soul like a Lucifer, black and cold like a piece of lead
Misguided angel, love you 'til I'm dead.

I said "brother, you speak to me of passion,
You said never to settle for nothing less.
Well, it's in the way he walks,
It's in the way he talks,
His smile, his anger, and his kisses."

I said "sister, don't you understand?
He's all I ever wanted in a man.
I'm tired of sittin' around the tv every night,
Hoping I'm finding a Mr. Right."

Misguided angel hangin' over me
Heart like a Gabriel, pure and white as ivory
Soul like a Lucifer, black and cold like a piece of lead
Misguided angel, love you 'til I'm dead.

He says "baby, don't listen to what they say,
There comes a time when you have to break away."
He says "baby there are things we all cling to all our life
It's time to let them go and become my wife."

Misguided angel hangin' over me
Heart like a Gabriel, pure and white as ivory
Soul like a Lucifer, black and cold like a piece of lead
Misguided angel, love you 'til I'm dead.
Here's the video.

Giant caveat: I'm glad I heard the song and read — and re-read the lyrics — before seeing the video, which has nothing to do with why the song resonates with me on so many levels. Just close your eyes and let Margo's voice and the story wash over you before letting the visuals color your understanding of the song.

3 commentaires:

Mr. Middlebrow a dit…

On a somewhat related note: I know you're not so much a latter-day U2 fan, but you should check this out.

http://adrinkingsong.blogspot.com/

Also, consider it a chance to geek out on my use of "palimpsest."

Diana a dit…

My favorite album when I just want to chill. Lou Reed has said that the Cowboy Junkies's version of "Sweet Jane" is his favorite version of the song.

O a dit…

I remember Sweet Jane from high school and it was an awesome track from back then. And then in college it was used in the soundtrack to Natural Born Killers which kind of ruined it for a while. But I think enough time has elapsed now.

Must go find my Junkies CD now.