Thursday, October 3, 2013

Chasing Lyrics

Belgrade is a cafe society. The streets are filled with places to have a morning espresso, a mid-afternoon latte or a cold pivo. There are three on one block, just around the corner from my office, and I walk by them each morning around 7:45, as they are welcoming their first customers and setting up for the day.

Many mornings, the cafes--like many in Belgrade--are playing smoky jazz covers of popular hits. There is something about changing the style of music that seems to make identifying the source material even more difficult than it is from a lyric sheet.

This morning, as I was walking by I heard "I ain't the worst that you seen...." sung by a woman who sounded like a Saturday Night Live impression of Peggy Lee. I immediately knew that "don't you know what I mean" was the next line, but I couldn't identify the song.

I knew from Dragons of Eden and Incognito that the best approach to solving the problem was to think about something else, so I checked my RSS feeds and let my brain wander away from the song. I gave myself until 9 to solve it, and I failed. I couldn't get the song far enough out of focus to get around the mental block.

Which is all the more humbling, since a jazzy version of the song has been covered by one of my favorite bands from the 80s, and if you still have a mixtape I made for you, it's probably included.

Links to the original and the cover are here. Go ahead, how old are you, who said that, baby how have you been?

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