February 26, 2008

Who the Deuce Can Parleyvous a Cow?

[I'm not a big embedded audio fan but we'll give it a whirl, feel free to push play and listen while you read]

I've had an Andrew Bird song running around in my head for a week or two. Its off his new EP, Soldier On, that he released on his European tour stint. There are some really good tunes on this short collection but the song in question here is his rendition of "How You Gonna Keep Em Down on the Farm." Bird originally recorded it for the Janet Reno helmed compilation Song of America but also released it on Soldier On.

The song was originally penned back in 1919 by Walter Donaldson, Sam M. Lewis, and Joe Young and in its original form was a much more upbeat affair than what Bird gives us here. It makes an appearance in the Judy Garland, Gene Kelly film Me and My Gal which is set in the context of the war that was drawing to a close when it was penned rather than the one which was ongoing when it was filmed, but which certainly provided it with new inspiration. Despite its original upbeat lilt the song's lyrics are maudlin at best - and that is how Bird plays it, and makes it more so with a few tweaks in the lyrics - and you can feel the very real apprehension of a mother and father somewhere in the mid-west feverishly expecting their son to return home from the front lines and with equal fervor fearing that the cornfields are never going to have the allure that "Paree" had (or Detroit, Chicago, New York, Boston, etc., etc., etc.,) - and they were ultimately right.

So, give it a listen above, or if you are so inclined I have it on good authority that it can be found for download here.

Also, your going to want to check out this mashup of another Bird track off of Soldier On, The Trees Were Mistaken, with the Youngbloodz tune Presidential - how great is that photoshop!

1 comment:

a conversationalist said...

I didn't realize that he had a new one out. Sounds solid. I think there is a fair chance that he has a philanthropoly on solid tunes created by people with the last name of "Bird."