Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.
Justice the founder of my fabric moved:
To rear me was the task of Power divine,
Supremest Wisdom, and primeval Love.
Before me things create were none,
save things Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon, ye who enter here.
Beyond lies the playlist of Julian Bauld.
The Band 1969 (Canada)
Bob Dylan wrote this song with Richard Manuel, the piano player from The Band. Manuel (from Ontario) sings as though he’s been stuck in the back with a pitchfork and tells us “life is brief”. Robbie Robertson, another Ontario guy, is on guitar making the whole episode a little more painful. Nothing sounds like this song.
Johnny Adams 1969 ( USA)
Man, can this guy sing. A song so good it’ll make wish you had a broken heart too. The organ walks you in and Johnny takes care of you from there. And he can hit the high notes: 3:02. Thank you New Orleans.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 2004 ( Australia)
Had he been born in the late 1700s, he’d surely be one of the Romantic poets – and he’d probably be roommates with John Clare. Cave lost his Muse and he’s hollering at the sky: “ Send you stuff on down to me! ” He also gives a tour of great artists and thinkers: Nabokov, St. John of the Cross, Karl Marx, Gauguin, Dylan Thomas, and Philip Larkin. Lesson of the day: “ If you’ve got a trumpet, get on your feet, brother, and blow it.”
AC Newman 2009 (Canada)
Pop-irony. AC Newman writes a prefect song about having trouble writing a song.
Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
Old Testament reggae sung by a London punk who seems to have a lot of food in his mouth. Great guitar hook.
Karen Dalton 1971 (USA)
The eerie violin wraps around Dalton’s voice. The work of old ghosts from rural Scotland I presume. Scary.
The Pogues 1988 (UK/Ireland)
This was one of my first concerts. Furious and fun. Shane McGowan knows how to write a song.
Leonard Cohen 1992 (Canada)
Is he talking? Is he singing? It doesn’t matter. He knows how the light gets in.
David Banner 2008 (USA)
John Donne wrote about desire, fear, regret, and honesty; David Banner does the same.
Television 1977 (USA)
The guitar gods have gone and the humans have started to play.
Henryk Gorecki 1976 (Poland)
You’ll think your speakers are broken with this one, but it leads from silence to complete sound. Think of the patience of the musicians. Beautiful music.
Glen Gould 1741 ( Germany)/ 1955 ( Canada)
This music makes the world better.
By Will Rooney