Tuesday, February 03, 2009

And All We Mortals Struggle So

From his quite wonderful Washington Square Serenade album, enjoy Greatest Living New Yorker Steve Earle and the spinetingling "Down Here Below."

This was pretty much my favorite song of 2007.

Pale Male, the famous redtail hawk, performs wingstands high above midtown Manhattan
Circles around for one last pass over the park
Got his eye on a fat squirrel down there and a couple of pigeons
They got no place to run, they got no place to hide

But Pale Male he`s cool, see, 'cause his breakfast ain`t goin' nowhere
So he does a loop de loop for the tourists and the Six o'Clock News
Got him a penthouse view from the tip-top of the food chain, boys
He looks up and down on Fifth Avenue and says "God I love this town"

That's as close to poetry as pop music needs to get, I think, and it actually gets better from there. Incidentally, the woman singing the way cool harmony part on the chorus is the lovely and talented Allison Moorer, aka Mrs. Earle, whose solo work definitely behooves behearing; if you're in the vicinity of iTunes, you might want to download "The Hardest Part," for starters.


steve simels said...

Sal N:

Sorry -- I accidentally posted this originally with a Monday timestamp, and when I moved it over to today, your comment got lost.

I regret the error.

steves said...

Speaking of red-tail hawks...did I ever tell you the story of when I was taking a smoke break outside my office on Park and a young red-tail hawk fell out of the sky and onto the hood of a parked cab? The sucker was badly shook up, but was taken to a nearby bird store to fully recuperate. The cab driver was pretty shook up, too.

True story.

steve simels said...

Wow. Glad to hear it survived....

racymind said...

I could swear I already raved abpout this one to you somewhere else.

Virgotex and I saw Steve and Allison perform here in Houston last summer. They really brought it that night. The crowd was a little too rednecky.

steve simels said...


I don't recall if you did, but I might have brought the song up some other time.

Actually, there's a pretty good live on TV version of this on YouTube. Maybe from around the same time?

racymind said...

No problem, I looked back, it was on the 12/12/08 NYC Listomania where I straggled in as a late commenter. I quoted some of the rest at you:

I saw Joe Mitchell`s ghost on a downtown `A` train
He just rides on forever now that the Fulton fish market`s shut down
He said `they ain`t never gonna get that smell out of the water
I don`t give a damn how much of that new money they burn`

Now hell`s kitchen`s Clinton and the bowery`s Nolita
And the east village`s creepin` `cross the Williamsburg bridge
And hey, whatever happened to alphabet city?
Ain`t no place left in this town that a poor boy can go

I was in town a week later and I had this on my iPod as I walked around The City.

megisi said...

At the risk of sounding like a big ol' doe-eyed fluffer, Steve Earle is a national treasure and Transcendental Blues is one of the great albums of the last 50 years.

And Washington Square isn't bad, either.

Whew, it just feels good to get those thoughts out sometimes.

Cleveland Bob said...

Me and the missus saw Steve with an Allison warm-up last year and rated it the best concert we saw all year (save perhaps Nick Lowe's acoustic set this past October).

Wash Sq. is beautiful love letter to NYC. Steve Earle is the closest thing to Woody Guthrie since...well, um, Woody Guthrie.