Song of the Day: January 28

Written by David T. Little


In category: Song of the Day

Published January 28, 2016

unnamedThis week our SoTD curator is composer David T. Little who will host and curate the opening evening of NYFOS Next 2016 on February 4th. Little’s operas Soldier Songs and Dog Days have received wide critical acclaim, the latter having received performances this season at Fort Worth Opera and Los Angeles Opera and hailed by The Wall Street Journal as “one of the most exciting new operas of recent years.” Little’s “sharp, elegantly bristling” music (New York Magazine) is potent and dramatic, drawing as much upon his experience as a punk/metal drummer as his classical pedigree. Thank you and welcome, David!

Somewhat like the Gillian Welch song from yesterday, Tom Waits’ Tom Traubert’s Blues (Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen) has a slightly trance-like quality to it. Within a repetitive form, off-kilter and brilliant lyrics stumble and lurch forward, only to be caught each time and put upright by the chorus, a Waitsian interpretation of Australia’s unofficial national anthem “Waltzing Matilda.”  “Now I lost my Saint Christopher now that I’ve kissed her” is among my all-time favorite lyrics. Slightly cryptic, like the Welch, it perfectly sums up–for me–the dizzy feeling of falling head over heals in love. My personal affection for this song–admittedly sentimental–likely has something to do with the fact that my partner is Australian.

Tom Waits (1949) – Tom Traubert’s Blues (Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen) (1976)

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