Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Somebody Should Have Told Her

"It was easy to identify her body when she found her way back home." Beautifully ugly. As I said here, "Dead Or Alive" and this song seem to share a central idea. Where "Dead or Alive" yoked an allusively-told noir tale to a poppy tune, this song from 'Even Cowgirls Get the Blues' combines a dark and oppressive guitar-and-organ piece with more specific lyrics.

I get the feeling that maybe the lyrics weren't quite settled when this live recording was made and/or the lyrics that have been transcribed are maybe a bit wrong. (I also get the feeling that ROIR took Cale out for a drink or twenty to get him to approve this sub-bootleg quality recording for release.) Nevertheless, there are nice touches throughout: "I could have worked so hard to tell her / She would never have listened at all." The narrator's anger and frustration with both the victim and himself is a trick the song shares with "Dead or Alive."

Musically, it opens with a loping drumbeat, long organ chords, and Ritchie Fliegler's guitar. Cale's electric piano vamping and vocals come in next for the verses. The song brightens up at the chorus, with drums sounding on the beat and the organ doing some vamping of its own. The chorus, which modulates up into a major key, doesn't sound very depressive, Cale's hoarse vocals notwithstanding.

The last chorus gives way to a Fliegler-led coda (sharing the chorus lyrics and many of its characteristics) that in spots sounds almost triumphant. I suppose it's possible this is yet another murderer. Psychologically speaking, a very interesting song. It's a great song, really. It's just a shame that a glorified bootleg is the only way it's available.

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