Donald Fagen: Through With Buzz

Written by Jamie Bernstein

Writer, Narrator and Broadcaster

In category: Song of the Day

Published April 18, 2017

I couldn’t resist including this truly odd song from Pretzel Logic. It’s very short. One of the reasons it’s so short is that each of the three verses is one line long. Why did Fagen do that?! It makes me laugh every time – as if he were really so very irritated with his friend Buzz that he doesn’t even have the patience to explain; he has to hurl himself back into that catchy chorus: he’s just so through with Buzz, goddammit!

There are yet more odd aspects to this song. It features, of all things, a string quartet. There they are, with their funny violin runs, and their heavy bowings a la “Eleanor Rigby.”

I’m wondering whether in our current age, Fagen regrets his third verse, which runs, in its entirety: “Maybe he’s a fairy…”  But once again, the throughness-with-Buzz overtakes the singer, and he can’t dwell on the details, he just has to aver how through he is: oh yeah, uh huh. The song leaves you with an earful of melody and a head full of questions.

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Jamie Bernstein is a narrator, writer and broadcaster who has transformed a lifetime of loving music into a career of sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with others. Jamie has written and narrated concerts about Leonard Bernstein, Mozart and Copland, among others. In addition to her own scripted narrations, Jamie also performs standard concert narrations. She is a frequent speaker on musical topics, including in-depth discussions of her father’s works. Jamie has also produced and hosted numerous shows for radio stations including several seasons of the New York Philharmonic’s live national radio broadcasts, and various series for New York’s classical station, 96.3 WQXR FM, including annual live broadcasts from Tanglewood. In addition to writing her own scripts and narrations, Jamie writes articles and poetry, which have appeared in such publications as Symphony, DoubleTake, Town & Country and Gourmet.


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