Do you have songs that just go together in your mind, that you always think of in pairs?
I guess the fact that I posed this question tells you that I do.
I’ll have another piece of apple pie, you know it don’t seem right
For me, these pairings are usually not so much about musical complementarity (which Ben could tell you about) or the history of songwriting and recording (which Dave could tell you about), but about resolving ambiguous lyrics. Because they trouble me.
The first time I paid attention to the “Ode to Billie Joe,” for instance, I was unsettled for days. What did they throw off the Tallahatchie Bridge????? (and I’m even more messed up now after looking at the faceless avatars in that video. Cripes!) She pushed him, right? Right? Or was it his draft card or their secret baby?
So I achieve mental quiet by finding answers that fit., even if the connection is entirely invented. For example, if I come across a song, preferably sung by a man, despairing his decision to throw something important off a bridge, that could be the pairing that would bring me peace. (Send me that song, please).
Ideally, hinging two songs together not only addresses a burning question so you can sleep at night, but gives you some new appreciation of each song. That brings us to today’s question-begging lyrics, from Tommy James and the Shondell’s “I Think We’re Alone Now”: Continue reading