By a strange coincidence, three of the songs I’ve been listening to a lot recently mention our furry, big-eared friends in their titles. I’m glad to say none of the songs in question are the notorious Chas’ n’ Dave ditty “Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit”!
Since I’ve finished writing my book on music, I’ve been listening to the radio a lot more in the evenings. That means BBC Radio 6 Music; and there is just so much good stuff. Two of the songs here come from that listening; the other is a revival. I’m going to start with the latter.
The other day, travelling into work, I fancied listening to a bit of The National. They are a band I know should be right at the top of my list of favourites, given what they do. But it has taken me time to break in. So, anyway, I put on the latest album, “Trouble Will Find Me”. It’s an excellent album. When it first came out I listened a few times then rather forgot it. And forgot there had been one track which stood out. It came on as I was walking from Pimlico station to the office. And immediately, I went wow. What a beautiful, moving song this is. I liked it so much, I put it on again, and again. The last time, I delayed going to the office so I could hear it finish. The song was “Pink Rabbits”. Sounds like a title that could be about hallucinogenic drugs; but, in fact, it’s the name of a drink. A cocktail presumably. Singer and main man Matt Berninger refers to it as he laments a break up which wasn’t at easy as expected.
It’s a simple song, with the classic sad chords: a mix of G, D, C, Am and Em. But with a lovely Elton John-like piano and some wonderfully off-kilter lyrics, which, for me, make the song more poignant. The lines that really get me are these:
You didn’t see me, I was falling apart – I was a white girl in a crowd of white girls in the park – You didn’t see me, I was falling apart – I was a television version of a person with a broken heart…
Weird, but very affecting. And where do those metaphors come from?
Here’s a video of The National playing the song.
Next is Caitlin Rose, a young American country singer. I saw her perform at Hyde Park last summer, at the Neil Young Concert (which The National were also at). She was really good, maybe the most enjoyable concert I saw that day. Basic country rock’n’roll, but beautifully delivered. I’d already bought her most recent album, “The Stand In”. I liked it; but the best music, for me, of this type is still Lindi Ortega. A couple of weeks ago, Marc Riley on 6 Music played an old session track, from a couple of years ago, by Caitlin, called ‘”For The Rabbits”. It was arresting. I had to have the original. That was on her previous album, “Own Side Now”. Duly downloaded.
I’m delighted to say that when I checked on YouTube, the 6 Music performance of the song was there. So here it is.
And then, something very different. “Rabbit Hole” by Jamie T. Popular with the youth. Quite hard to categorise, and I’ve not really listened to a lot of his music. But I probably should, as the punks, reggae, rap and dance are clearly all inspirations. Anyway, I kept on hearing this song on 6 Music and the chorus lodged in my mind. So I had to buy it.
Not surprisingly, this one has an official video.
So many other good songs I’ve heard recently, and I’ll try to share a few more.