Saturday, December 03, 2011

Great Love Songs (30)

This might also merit inclusion as a Great Drinking Song - in that most of my (all too few!) romantic breakthroughs down the years have been significantly alcohol-assisted. And I'm not talking about getting the ladies drunk to wear down their resistance. Oh no, I am sternly moral about that: I have, in fact, numerous times refrained from responding to apparent advances because I was concerned that the young woman's rationality was too far compromised. No, I meant that I need the disinhibiting boost of alcohol to soothe my nerves and hang-ups and fears of rejection. So, the scene evoked in this song If You Gotta Go, Go Now calls to mind rather too aptly a number of awkward culminations to evenings of drink-fuelled flirting back in my college days (and since, once or twice, I grant you). It is enormously refreshing - but oh, how rare! - to meet a woman who'll cut through all that 'red tape' of social deference and embarrassment, and just tell you to get on with it.

It is particularly bewitching to imagine someone as entirely lovely as Margo Timmins assuming such a role! So, yes, here - from their offcuts album Rarities, B-Sides, and Slow, Sad Waltzes (which I actually prefer to most of their regular albums; it's a fabulous collection) - are my beloved Cowboy Junkies singing it. [A pity it's just a still photo - and a rather unflattering one, at that! - on this YouTube clip, but there was no version of this available at all until recently. Margo always manages to seem gorgeous, but the lads all look caught-in-the-headlights petrified.] This is one of those covers that completely eclipses the original: Bob Dylan's whiny, braying vocals leave it dead in the water; and it's just so much more poignant, and so much more sexy done from a female perspective.

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