Sunday, July 19, 2009

Song-In-My-Head Sunday: "Iowa"

So I played a gig on State Street in Madison yesterday with Carrie Elkin, a great songwriter and current resident of Austin, Texas. Her own material was great, and what a voice. It certainly carried through the Maxwell Street Days celebration and down State St.

The highlight for me, however, was her cover of a song I used to love but had completely forgotten about: "Iowa" by Dar Williams, off of the Mortal City album. When I was a freshman in college Dar Williams was one of those songwriters that first got me into writing my own stuff. I had since stopped listening to her, as a majority of her stuff is admittedly pretty cheesy and a little over the top. However, "Iowa" is worth its weight in gold, with great lyrics and a beautiful melody. I'm pretty sure I've heard Peter Mulvey cover the song, as well.

Here is a youtube video of Dar singing "Iowa" at Milwaukee's own Pabst Theater. The video is pretty grainy, but I wanted to share this particular one because it also features Minnesota's Brianna Lane on harmonies. Warning: there is a slightly cheesy talking/folk sing along part at the end, but still a beautiful version.

Small plug: Brianna Lane will be playing with me at the September 3rd songwriter showcase show at the Brink Lounge in Madison!

Lyrics to "Iowa":

I've never had a way with women, but the hills of Iowa make me wish that I could,
And Ive never found a way to say I love you, but if the chance came by, oh I, I would,
But way back where I come from, we never mean to bother,
We dont like to make our passions other peoples concern,
And we walk in the world of safe people, and at night we walk into our houses and burn.

Iowa oh ooo oh, Iowa oh ooooh ooo oh I-Iowa

How I long to fall just a little bit, to dance out of the lines and stray from the light,
But I fear that to fall in love with you is to fall from a great and gruesome height.
So I asked a friend about it, on a bad day, her husband had just left her,
She sat down on the chair he left behind, she said,
"What is love, where did it get me? Whoever thought of love is no friend of mine."

Ioway oh ooo oh, Iowa oh ooooh ooo oh I-Iowa

Once I had everything, I gave it up for the shoulder of your driveway and the words Ive never felt.
And so for you, I came this far across the tracks, ten miles above the limit, and with no seatbelt, and I'd do it again,
For tonight I went running through the screen doors of discretion,
For I woke up from a nightmare that I could not stand to see,
You were a-wandering out on the hills of Iowa and you were not thinking of me.

Ioway oh ooo oh, Iowa oh ooooh ooo oh I-Iowa
Ioway oh ooo oh, Iowa oh ooooh ooo oh I-Iowa

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