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stubby
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« on: June 20, 2008, 11:47:32 PM »

About 35 years ago, I first heard Steve Goodman's version of Michael Smith's "The Dutchman". I don't think any other song has moved me to the extent that this song has, and after all these years it still haunts me. This song is a near perfect blend of lyrics and melody; a truly poignant and evocative piece of art. To this day I find it hard not to have an emotional response when I hear lines like "sometimes she sees her unborn children in his eyes".  If there's any song in the world I wish I'd written, this is it. Over the years I've heard dozens of songs that were close runner-ups, but no song has ever been able to resonate for years the way The Dutchman has. I play it, but won't ever do justice to the definitive Goodman version - Steve OWNS this song. 

So...does any anyone else have a" perfect song" that's carried through the years. I'd like to think I'm not the only emotionally overrwought 53 year old on this forum.
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2008, 01:02:59 PM »

I love playing The Dutchman (do a decent version if I say so myself) and couldn't argue with you if I wanted to. Terrific song. Monster chorus. Gotta give Smith the credit there.
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JavaVern
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2008, 06:12:12 PM »

Last month heard Tom Rush.

His version of Joni Mitchell's "Urge For Going" is a perfect song and presentation of a song for me.

When I play Cheap Thrills by Janis Joplin and Big Brother I am always blown out of the water when Janis comes in on "Combination of the Two", although "Piece of My Heart" is my favorite from that album. Hearing Melissa Etheridge (just out of chemo) and Joss Stone do some Janis at the 2005 Grammies reminded me of that song and that album.


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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2008, 12:11:09 PM »

I know it's old and worn, but Gordon Lightfoot's "Early Morning Rain" is still truly sublime in my book.

"you can't jump a jet plane, like you can a freight train".. is a line that always tells me we are now strangers in a strange and new land, and we can't go back to our youth again... all that in 12 words!! What a brilliant songwriter.

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teh
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2008, 12:19:09 AM »

Two way tie

Penny Evans (Steve Goodman) 

and

Shadows (Gordon Lightfoot, Honorable mention: Minstrel of the Dawn or Canadian Railroad Trilogy)
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stubby
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2008, 01:32:02 PM »

I agree, Penny Evans is a great song. It also happens to be the only Steve Goodman song where I can absolutely nail the guitar part.
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lw216316
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2008, 02:12:04 PM »

My favorite Steve Goodman song was 'City of New Orleans'.
Here is a quote about the history of that song, I thought you might enjoy Stubby
(if you have not already heard it)

Quote
Goodman had been busy writing many of his most enduring songs, and this avid songwriting would lead to an important break for him. While at the Quiet Knight, Goodman saw Arlo Guthrie, and asked to be allowed to play a song for him. Guthrie grudgingly agreed, on the condition that Goodman buy him a beer first; Guthrie would listen to Goodman for as long as it took Guthrie to drink the beer. Goodman played "City of New Orleans", (original lyrics) which Guthrie liked enough that he asked to record it. Guthrie's version of the song became a hit in 1972, and provided Goodman with enough financial and artistic success to make his music a full-time career. 

I have too many perfect songs to list them all, here are a few

Some everybody knows and many might consider perfect
Yesterday and Blackbird - Paul Mc C.
Amazing Grace - John Newton
Sunshine on my shoulders and Anne's Song - John Denver

Others - ' perfect ' only to me perhaps and some not as well known
Classical Gas  - Mason Williams
Feelin' Groovy - (59th street bridge song) Simon & G.
Unchained Melody
Consider the Lillies  (Joel Hemphill)
You make it rain for me
Who Am I  - Rusty Goodman
He Came to Me - S. Parsons

- too many to list

- Larry







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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2008, 02:14:50 PM »

Oddly enough perhaps, I find Penny Evans the one song that rather badly dates Somebody Else's Troubles.   
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canoe65
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2008, 05:24:01 PM »

My perfect songs are:

"Four Strong Winds" by Ian Tyson
"House of the Rising Sun"
"Moonshadow" by Cat Stevens
"Comes A Time" and "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young
"Last Night of the World" by Bruce Cockburn

 
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2008, 11:10:04 PM »

Two songs that have always stuck with me are:

Hamilton Camp's Pride of Man as done by Gordon Lightfoot on the Lightfoot! album.

Also from Gordon, his own song Rainy Day People hits home to my missus and me.
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2008, 01:04:13 AM »

Quote

Duck, if I've got this right, the melody for Penny Evans was lifted from an old standard in he British folk canon, so it's REALLY dated. I know what you mean, though, with the Vietnam theme of Penny Evans. It's all in the context. For example, I love depression era songs, which are by definition, "dated". I don't hear them that way. On the other hand, a few early John Prine tunes (Illegal Smile, You're Flag Decal, etc.) sound painfully dated. In another 50 years, they'll be considered authentic "vietnam era" folk songs, the way depression era songs are now part of the american folk canon.
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2008, 02:30:30 AM »

Upon closer reflection, I added two more:

Time in a Bottle (By Jim Croce)

Let them in Peter (By John Gorka) I still stand by my comment about Penny Evans. It's still a powerful message after three plus decades and I believe Steve Goodman's rendition will stand the test of time. Having two kids on active duty keeps these songs to the surface for me.

There used to be a great version of City of New Orleans played by Steve Goodman and Jethro Burns (on Mandolin) on You Tube that was pulled down.
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2008, 06:30:57 AM »

2 come to my mind, and probably no one here has even heard them.

River Bends by Tim O'Reagan

and

Caroline by Ian Moore

Those songs are about as good as it gets in my mind. 
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2008, 11:25:23 AM »

Quote

Duck, if I've got this right, the melody for Penny Evans was lifted from an old standard in he British folk canon, so it's REALLY dated. I know what you mean, though, with the Vietnam theme of Penny Evans. It's all in the context. For example, I love depression era songs, which are by definition, "dated". I don't hear them that way. On the other hand, a few early John Prine tunes (Illegal Smile, You're Flag Decal, etc.) sound painfully dated. In another 50 years, they'll be considered authentic "vietnam era" folk songs, the way depression era songs are now part of the american folk canon.

Yeah don't get me wrong, I just think a classic album should be timeless and a piece like that puts SET squarely in time. It's quite emotional and Steve sings it great but like Revolution #9, I don't want to hear it every time I play the record. Still a fine album, Steve's best, but in the long run better without Penny imo.

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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2008, 04:06:37 PM »

Teh, I agree with Let Them In, but I actually like the David Wilcox version better.  But let me add:

Silence - John Gorka
River is Wide - Karla Bonoff's version is the one that gets me
King of Bohemia - Richard Thompson
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jimmy buffett
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2008, 07:38:23 PM »

I know it's old and worn, but Gordon Lightfoot's "Early Morning Rain" is still truly sublime in my book.

"you can't jump a jet plane, like you can a freight train".. is a line that always tells me we are now strangers in a strange and new land, and we can't go back to our youth again... all that in 12 words!! What a brilliant songwriter.

I have to give you a big thumbs up on that one, to which I'll add Bruce Cockburn's "One Day I Walk".  I first heard this song on John Prine's "Ladies Love Outlaws" LP and have played it ever since - 34 years later.

Honourary mention to "California Dreaming" - the anthem to a generation.

jimmy
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2008, 08:03:09 PM »

yes, the beauty of well spoken words and poetry -    to say much with little

Someone mentioned ' Time in a bottle '  by Jim Croce
a line in it has stayed with me since the 70s....

" There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do, ONCE YOU FIND THEM '

...it seems when we are young and ' have time ' we are busy searching
and by the time we ' FIND THEM' we are busy working to pay the mortgage with not much time left to DO THEM.

Bob Dylan's   ' Don't think twice '
has a line
" I gave her my heart but she wanted MY SOUL .....don't think twice, its alright "

man, that says so much with so little

I also like Dylan's line in "It ain't me babe"
"Go away from my window and LEAVE AT YOUR OWN CHOSEN SPEED.
I not the one you wanted. I'm not the one you need"


John Denver's " Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy............sunshine almost always makes me high "

I can just FEEL the sun on my shoulders and remember the good times when I think of that line

and his words in ' Anne's song '       much said, with only a few words


Language is such a wonderful gift that is so abused today.


- Larry
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2008, 09:04:37 PM »

Pretty much the entire Beatles catalogue. Almost anything by Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Jimmie Rodgers or Hank Williams.

More specifically several Dylan songs immediately come to mind as close as humanly possible to perfect as to be close enough for me.
Every Grain of Sand
Brownsville Girl
Blind Willie McTell
When I Paint My Masterpiece
It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (one of the best song titles ever as well)

Pete Townsend
Subsitute
I Can See For Miles
Pinball Wizard
Won't Get Fooled Again 

Ray Davies
You Really Got Me
Lola

Jagger/Richards
Satisfaction
Gimme Shelter
Wild Horses
Dead Flowers

Jimi Hendrix
Little Wing
The Wind Cries Mary
Purple Haze

Eric Clapton
Layla

Gram Parsons
Return of the Grievous Angel

John Prine
Paradise

I'll stop now but really this is a thread that might never end. They're still writing them out there somewhere too.


 
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DFR
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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2008, 09:48:25 PM »

What a great thread.  Reminding me of some long forgotten songs and turning me on to new stuff I've been oblivious to.  Steve Goodman...I had no idea!  Gotta get me somma dat!

Some that just click with me...

Please Be With Me...Duane Allman and Cowboy
Neil Young...Heart of Gold
Road to Moscow...Al Stewart
Second Cup of Coffee...Gordon Lightfoot
Me and Bobbi McGee...Kris Kristofferson   (Yeah, I know but...)
These Days...Jackson Browne
Momma Tried...Merle Haggard
Amie...Pure Prairie League
Willin...Little Feat
Stuff That Works...Guy Clark
Lipstick Sunset...John Hiatt
You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive...Darrell Scott
1952 Vincent Black Lightning...Richard Thompson
Prayer Like Any Other...Keiran Kane
Goodbye...Steve Earle
Same Ol' River...Sam Bush (Jeff Black)


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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2008, 09:50:13 PM »

What a great thread.  Reminding me of some long forgotten songs and turning me on to new stuff I've been oblivious to.  Steve Goodman...I had no idea!  Gotta get me somma dat!

Some that just click with me...

Please Be With Me...Duane Allman and Cowboy
Neil Young...Heart of Gold
Road to Moscow...Al Stewart
Second Cup of Coffee...Gordon Lightfoot
Me and Bobbi McGee...Kris Kristofferson   (Yeah, I know but...)
These Days...Jackson Browne
Momma Tried...Merle Haggard
Amie...Pure Prairie League
Willin...Little Feat
Stuff That Works...Guy Clark
Lipstick Sunset...John Hiatt
You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive...Darrell Scott
1952 Vincent Black Lightning...Richard Thompson
Prayer Like Any Other...Keiran Kane
Goodbye...Steve Earle
Same Ol' River...Sam Bush (Jeff Black)




Great list! 
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