Monday, April 20, 2009

Music Monday/Lyric Lundi

The other day, after dropping the Mandarines off at the train station in Philly, I was in a very melancholic mood. Dropping people off at train stations and airports does that to me (especially when it's people I'm probably not going to see again for a long time). I was listening to WXPN (one of the best radio stations I've ever had the good fortune to be able to receive static-free) on the way home, and they played a song I hadn't thought of in ages. It seemed the perfect thing to hear when in that kind of mood.

When I was in college, I subscribed to Rolling Stone magazine. In those pre-Internet days, one of the best ways to decide whether or not to buy an album, other than through friends and family members, was to read reviews in RS. I had, at some point, heard on the radio a version of Peter Holsapple's "Lonely Is (As Lonely Does)," a song whose only version I knew was the one by Holsapple's own band the dBs (a band that hailed from my hometown of Winston-Salem). This new version was sung by a woman with a beautiful, haunting, clear voice, and I wondered who she was, but as is typical with radio stations, the song was played, and the DJ never bothered to tell us who it was.

Along came Rolling Stone not too long after that to tell me who that performer was: Marti Jones. And there was a rave review for the album on which she had recorded this song, an album that was never released on CD, called Unsophisticated Time. I immediately went out and bought it and was not the least bit disappointed. I loved all the songs on that album, but there was one written by her producer (who later became her husband) Don Dixon that was my favorite. Don't ask me why. I had never been in the situation the song described.

I was lucky enough a couple of years later to see Marti Jones and Don Dixon at a club in Chapel Hill, NC called Cat's Cradle. They had a great way of bantering back and forth on stage with each other, and she joked about wanting to do this one, sitting in a wheel chair with casts on her legs. Unfortunately, Dixon must have a tight rein on his lyrics, because I can't get a copy of the lyrics for the entire song, and I no longer own the album. You're stuck with only the refrain, which I know by heart.

(If I Could) Walk Away
by Don Dixon and Marti Jones

If I could walk away from him
I would run away with you.
You're the only boy I've found
That I could ever say this to.
If I could walk away from him
I would run away with you.
And I do, every night in my dreams
I do.


Lily said...

That's beautiful! But no CD? That seems like something that should be fixed. And so glad you had a nice visit with the Mandarines.

Anonymous said...

Dixon's putting out a book of his lyrics called Songs 101. It's on his site

Emily Barton said...

Lily, Yes, it DOES need to be rectified! I'd love to get it again on CD.

Anonymous, thanks for the tip.