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The Only Living Boy In New York -- Simon & Garfunkel

Featured on the duo’s final studio album Bridge over Troubled Water, Paul Simon displays an uncanny prescience in his lyrics. Written by Simon to Garfunkel during the latter’s sojourn in Mexico for his acting debut in the film version of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 (Art plays Lt. Edward J. Nately III). The sentiment is one of affection, goodwill and best wishes towards Garfunkel on his new adventure (Garfunkel is referred to as 'Tom' in the song, in reference to their early duo name 'Tom and Jerry'). At the time of recording Bridge Over Troubled Water the pair had plans for the future together, however things didn’t work out that way as festering tensions came to the surface. They were never to return to the recording studio, making 'Living Boy' a farewell in more ways than one. Three silent years later the pair officially split. Tragically, judging by subsequent interviews of the pair both in the press and on camera, they never really made friends again.

Black - Pearl Jam

Ah the nineties, all that angst, and Pearl Jam did a perfect job of putting it into music. 'Black', first performed in 1990, was never released as a single, instead featuring as an album track on the classic debut Ten in 1991. In my twenties at the time, I’d convinced myself I was living out some kind of existential tragedy, when in actual fact I was just a printer from Essex. Them was the days. Pearl Jam was right for me then, and it still is, but for different reasons. 

Thanks to Stanley Franc and Canute for their input.

00:00 / 05:14

Stream or download 'BLACK'

Thoughts Of Mary Jane - Nick Drake

Featured on Drake’s 1969 offering Five Leaves Left, a debut album that received mixed reviews at the time, but decades later in the late 90’s early 00’s it enjoyed such a renaissance that it was listed no.258 in NME’s 2013 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Why the change of heart? Maybe the listening public was hungry for something less melancholic with the farewell to the sixties and the coming dawn of the seventies. An awkward performer on stage, for all his undoubted ability as a songwriter and musician he suffered from a chronic lack of self-esteem, his live performances were stilted and racked with songs half sung, one commentator remarking 'It was like being at the bedside of a dying man who wants to tell you a secret, but who keeps changing his mind at the last minute'.  Drake was to record two further studio albums before his tragic suicide in 1974 aged just 26. But, back to the song… who was Mary Jane? Theories abound. A lover perhaps, or as some say a play on the word 'marajuana'; personally I suspect the former. (I don't - Ed)

If You Could Read My Mind - Gordon Lightfoot

Ahhhh what to say about Gordon. The man’s a legend. Born in 1938, by the time of his first recordings in the early sixties he’d already written 75 songs, and that was just the start. To date (Oct ’21) he’s recorded 19 studio albums, the latest only last year, and he’s still touring, at the grand old age of 83. I saw him perform in 2016, he was awesome. This was the first song I ever played and sang, prompted and encouraged by the Lovely Rachel. It’s a favourite of hers, how could I refuse her?

Early Morning Rain - Gordon Lightfoot

Written by the legend that is Gordon, but this version is a bit of a cocktail. Not sure where it came from really, it’s a mix-up of different covers, predominantly those by Paul Weller and Neil Young, with a sprinkling of the original. The original featured on Lightfoot’s debut album Lightfoot! released in 1966. The story goes that during a long-extended recording session away from his Canada home, a lonesome Gordon used to pass time at LA International Airport watching the planes come and go, wishing he was heading home.

Harvest Moon - Neil Young

Surely this classic requires little in the way of introduction. For me, it’s a joy to play. It’s not just the music, although it’s a fine song; it’s the memories, mostly slightly hazy, Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings at The Finchingfield Lion; this one was a regular fixture, and rightly so. 


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