Monday, March 30, 2009

More on the Cowboy Junkies...Sweet Jane

Watch this full screen if possible. The visuals are just too good to miss. Hit the icon on the right bottom of the video screen. The exit key will get you back to normal view mode.

Lyrics for Sweet Jane

Standing on the corner,
Suitcase in my hand
Jack is in his corset, and jane is her vest,
And me I'm in a rocknroll band hah!
Ridin in a stutz bear cat, jim
You know, those were different times!
Oh, all the poets they studied rules of verse
And those ladies, they rolled their eyes

Sweet jane! whoa! sweet jane, oh-oh-a! sweet jane!

Ill tell you something
Jack, he is a banker
And jane, she is a clerk
Both of them save their monies, ha
And when, when they come home from work
Oh, sittin down by the fire, oh!
The radio does play
The classical music there, jim
The march of the wooden soldiers
All you protest kids
You can hear jack say, get ready, ah

Sweet jane! come on baby! sweet jane! oh-oh-a! sweet jane!

Some people, they like to go out dancing
And other peoples, they have to work, just watch me now!
And theres even some evil mothers
Well theyre gonna tell you that everything is just dirt
Yknow that, women, never really faint
And that villains always blink their eyes, woo!
And that, yknow, children are the only ones who blush!
And that, life is just to die!
And, everyone who ever had a heart
They wouldnt turn around and break it
And anyone who ever played a part
Oh wouldnt turn around and hate it!

Sweet jane! whoa-oh-oh! sweet jane! sweet jane!

Heavenly wine and roses
Seems to whisper to her when he smiles
Heavenly wine and roses
Seems to whisper to her when she smiles
La lala lala la, la lala lala la
Sweet jane
Sweet jane
Sweet jane

The PopReckoning site writes about the early Lou Reed version and the Junkies' version. Two quotes from the article follow:

“Sweet Jane” is memorable to many people for myriad reasons. Maybe it’s the washes of guitar sounds in the intro? Maybe it’s Lou Reed’s cool delivery? Or maybe it’s the emotional intensity during the song’s lyrical breakdown that is too powerful to be forgotten (Anyone who ever had a heart / They wouldn’t turn around and break it! / And anyone who ever played a part / They wouldn’t turn around and hate it!). And then there’s the great mystery about what the heck this song means. Who is Jane? Does she exist? Is this a love song about a girl? Is it a rock n’ roll song about anti-commercialism? Are the rumors true that “Jane” is code for heroin and this song is about Lou Reed’s addiction to drugs? Did he just want the opportunity to write a song so he could brag that he was in a band? Who knows and who cares. It’s just a sweet song that never gets old.

second quote:

High on my list of best cover songs ever created, Cowboy Junkies could teach a seminar about harnessing the magic of a classic song, allowing it to marinate with one’s own creative energy, and then standing back to let the sublimation put out something fierce (and arguably better). They reorganized the lyrics, laced in some seriously gorgeous guitar riffs, and produced some very sexy results. Inspired by Lou Reed’s slower live version, Cowboy Junkies mimicked his altered tempo and created almost a brand new song that Reed himself has described as “the best and most authentic version I have ever heard.” Wow! In such a bare-boned interpretation, I love how the original lyrics that are washed out by Velvet’s heavier guitars are actually able to shine beautifully in the Junkies version. Particularly, when Timmons sings “Heavenly wine and roses seem to whisper to me when you smile,” I fall in love each time I hear that. And each time I hear this song.


Dan Wilcox said...

This is by far one of my favorite tunes -- & I'm a big Velvets fan -- I love this & am back on the Bowery & 2nd st. everytime I hear it.

Pris said...

Isn't it great?

Collin Kelley said...

I'm a big Lou and VU fan, but I prefer the Junkies' version. It's so haunting and fab.

Pris said...

Hi Collin
I do, too. I listened to them back to back before posting and the Junkie's slower version simply wowed me. I remember Joe Cocker making Randy Newman's 'Take Your Hat Off' song in a fast tempo...didn't much care for it, but when RN came out with his own slow version of the song, the song became sexy as all get out.

Scot said...

send me something (poetry) for my NYB series on OW

pic and bio--your call

mister jim said...

I like the long empty echo
with the slow delivery. Awesome. She has the storm-beat atmospherics
of The Rat at Kenmore, 2am.
Reed made it sound like
a toss-off, but she works all
the hypnogogic sweet-sour blues
of it.

You could take a lot of things
from it. It has at least 3
different sensibilities,
personalities. If you strip off
Lou's punk varnish (doubting if
you care), it all gets
deep-colored, the sweet under
the dust.

Pris said...

Scot, I messaged you at Facebook to get an email address and to let you know I'm gone tomorrow though late Monday. Maybe you'll find it today.

Jim, I agree. She works this song for all its worth..even the sultry way she plays to the camera in its visual delivery. It entrances me.

colleen said...

Hypnotic. One of my favorite songs. Now I have to google the Lou Reed original.

Pris said...

Hi Colleen, his is very different and with less emphasize, to me, on the vocals. Hope you found it. It's on youtube, too.

Jessica said...

Thanks for linking!

steve said...

Great one - thanks, Pris!