Music from the Swamp – the ‘Warren Zevon’ edition

I have loved Warren Zevon ever since I heard Werewolves of London. Zevon, like Bob Dylan and Neil Young, did not have a perfect singing voice. Regardless his music was respected by his peers. Zevon had an incredibly sardonic take on the world and it showed in his lyrics. His song ‘Excitable Boy’ off the album of the same name, which came out in 1978, is a case in point. There are very disturbing lyrics sung to a happy little tune:

Well, he went down to dinner in his Sunday best
Excitable boy, they all said
And he rubbed the pot roast all over his chest
Excitable boy, they all said
Well, he’s just an excitable boy

He took in the four a.m. show at the Clark
Excitable boy, they all said
And he bit the usherette’s leg in the dark
Excitable boy, they all said
Well, he’s just an excitable boy

He took little Susie to the Junior Prom
Excitable boy, they all said
and he raped her and killed her, then he took her home
Excitable boy, they all said
Well, he’s just an excitable boy
After ten long years they let him out of the Home
Excitable boy, they all said
And he dug up her grave and built a cage with her bones
Excitable boy, they all said
Well, he’s just an excitable boy

Zevon’s most popular song was ‘Werewolves of London’ which was also off the ‘Excitable Boy’ album. It is also one of my faves:

There are a couple more standouts from ‘Excitable Boy’

‘Lawyers, Guns and Money’

‘Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner’ is about mercenaries in the African wars in the 1960s. This is a live version from 2003 on the David Letterman show. It was right after Zevon was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

Carmelita is one of my favourite songs from ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead:

Right before his death he put out another album, ‘My Ride’s Here’. There is a song he wrote for his wife:

Keep me in your Heart

After his death in 2003, Bruce Springsteen did a cover of ‘My Ride’s Here.’  This is off of a compilation of covers of Warren Zevon songs called: ‘Enjoy Every Sandwich.’ It is a fabulous version!

 

 

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Published in: on March 12, 2012 at 9:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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