Saturday, February 26, 2011

A killer song, to coin a phrase

If Bob Dylan's "You're a Big Girl Now" isn't one of the most incredible songs ever written you can stick a corkscrew in our heart.

We just went back to see what we wrote while putting Blood on the Tracks -- on which "You're a Big Girl" appears -- on the SSS big board. The song wasn't even mentioned. One of five cuts from the album that Dylan re-recorded at Sound Studio 80 in Minneapolis (the originals came out of A&R in New York), "Big Girl" does tend to get lost in the Blood on the Tracks conversation because of heavyweights like "Tangled Up in Blue" and "Simple Twist of Fate."  Even "If You See Her Say Hello" -- another brilliant song from this incomparable 1975 release -- often takes a backseat.  But when you're riding in a Caddy what's so wrong about that? 

We take up "You're a Big Girl Now" after watching, of all things, a video of Jimmy LaFave. Now before you scream blasphemy give this cover a listen. No one can top Dylan's original recordings -- including the New York version that finally appeared on 1986's Biograph. But we kinda like LaFave's loose interpretation because of the way the lyrics, while still painfully inflected,  dance along more quietly with LaFave's jangly acoustic picking. And it is the lyrics to this song -- and the entire album -- that make it one of the favorites in our collection.

Our conversation was short and sweet
It nearly swept me off my feet
And I'm back in the rain, oh
And you are on dry land
You made it there somehow
You're a big girl now

Bird on the horizon, sittin' on a fence
He's singin' his song for me at his own expense
And I'm just like that bird, oh
Singin' just for you
I hope that you can hear
Hear me singin' through these tears

Time is a jet plane, it moves too fast
Oh, but what a shame if all we've shared can't last
I can change, I swear, oh
See what you can do
I can make it through
You can make it too

Love is so simple, to quote a phrase
You've known it all the time, I'm learnin' it these days
Oh, I know where I can find you, oh
In somebody's room
It's a price I have to pay
You're a big girl all the way

A change in the weather is known to be extreme
But what's the sense of changing horses in midstream?
I'm going out of my mind, oh
With a pain that stops and starts
Like a corkscrew to my heart
Ever since we've been apart

No comments:

Post a Comment