And they brought me down to see her
And they asked me if I would
Do a little number
And I sang with all my might
She said, "Tell me are you a Christian, child?"
And I said, "Ma'am, I am tonight!"
Call me mawkish but, regardless of genre or lack of 'cool' there are some songs that just hit the sweet spot, songs that I'd defend to the death.
There'e been a whole spate of stuff about 'Guilty Pleasures' and I guess that this series would nestle there. The two bleeding obvious ones in my collection are too bleeding obvious to post but I'll reference them as a starting point: Glen Campbell's 'Wichita Lineman' is oft quoted as inspirational. It's just too good for categorization. "And I need you more than want you/And I want to for all time" just kind of speaks for itself. T'ain't just the genius of Jimmy Webb's composition, it's the arrangement and performance that renders it beyond reproach, uncriticisable.
And then there's the guitar solo on The Carpenters 'Goodbye to Love'. Two solos actually, don't forget the fade. Tony Peluso first played something soft and sweet, but then Richard Carpenter said "No, no, no! Play the melody for five bars and then burn it up! Soar off into the stratosphere! Go ahead! It'll be great!" John Bettis, who wrote the lyric tells that Richard Carpenter kept calling him, raving about the guitar solo and backing vocals. The lyricist said he cried when he first heard the song because he had never heard an electric guitar sound like that. He said Tony Peluso "had a certain almost cello sounding guitar growl that worked against the wonderful melancholia of that song. The way it growls at you, especially at the end" is unbelievable."
Anyway, my first 'Mawkish Mule' post is one of those songs that is so familiar that you almost don't hear it. It came on the iPod this morning as I sat in the Cinnamon Chair nestling my first cup of coffee and... it was a perfect moment. I'd forgotten the unforgettable piano intro, that wonderful moment 50 seconds when the rim shot and Hammond organ enter the fray. I'd forgotten what a fantastic vocal it was. The chicken skin twitches on the line "She said, "Tell me are you a Christian, child? And I said, "Ma'am, I am tonight!"...
Here, reacquaint yourself with the joy that is Marc Cohn's 'Walking in Memphis'.
22 years old and still sounding as fresh as this cup of java...