Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Jeff, and Mama, You've Been On My Mind

Jeff Buckley would be 44 years old today if he hadn't walked into Wolf River Harbor with his steel-toed boots on. Luckily, although he only recorded one studio album, he left behind a ridiculous amount of live and bootleg material, most of which has been posthumously released and is easy to find. If you're anything like me, Live at Sin-é (Legacy Edition) is the album to get. Gone is the 90s grunge-flair of his studio recordings, which actually turned me off from his music for a couple years. The songs on Sin-é are stripped down, just the man and his telecaster. Most of the tracks are too long to keep the average blog-reader's attention (myself included, I know how it goes), but I'll link you to some of my favorites in case you're interested. Otherwise, just check out this great Bob Dylan cover for now. It's not from Sin-é, but it'll give you a taste:

Mama, You've Been On My Mind --- Bob Dylan

Perhaps it is the color of the sun cut flat
An' cov'rin' the crossroads I'm standing at,
Or maybe it's the weather or something like that,
But mama, you been on my mind.

I mean no trouble, please don't put me down, don’t get upset,
I am not pleading or saying that "I can't forget you."
I do not pace the floor bowed down and bent, but yet,
Mama, you been on my mind.

Even though my eyes are hazy and my thoughts they might be narrow,
Where you been don't bother me or bring me down in sorrow.
I don't even mind who you'll be waking with tomorrow,
But mama, you're just on my mind.

I am not askin' you to say words like "yes" or "no,"
Please understand me, I have no place I’m callin’ you to go.
I'm just whispering to myself so I can't pretend that I don't know,
But mama, you're just on my mind.

When you wake up in the mornin' and look inside your mirror,
You know I won't be next to you, you know I won't be near.
I'd just be curious to know if you can see yourself as clear
As someone who has had you on his mind.

The best of Jeff Buckley on YouTube, curated by Luke Williams
More Dylan covers: If You See Her, Say Hello (starts @1:09), Just Like A Woman
Original Stuff: Lover, You Should've Come Over is the good original from Sin-é on YouTube.
Etc: If You Knew (Nina Simone cover), The Way Young Lovers Do (Van Morrison cover).

Holy hannah, that's a lot links. Most of those songs are 7-10 minutes long, too. Sorry. I don't know, I guess if you're bored, and you need some background music, there you go. Myself, I can't get enough of it.

Happy B-day, and thanks, Mr. Buckley.


  1. I didn't know he killed himself, poor bugger. I've always been a sucker for that voice.

  2. Officially, it was an accidental drowning. He did, however, have steel-toed boots on, and that image always gave me a Virginia-Woolf-with-stones-in-her-pockets vibe. Poor bugger either way, though.