Song of the Day, September 14: Dying On the Vine by John Cale

Today’s song is Dying On the Vine by John Cale. It’s a powerful noir narrative song in the mode of Warren Zevon. Evoking mood and place without quite telling the listener the whole story, it is a perfect vignette.

I’ll see you me when all the shooting’s over Meet me on the other side of town Yes, you can bring all your friends along for protection It’s always nice to have them hanging around I was thinking about my mother I was thinking about what’s mine I was living my life like a Hollywood But I was dying, dying on the vine

Cale originally recorded the song for his 1985 album Artificial Intelligence. It suffered — like most of the tracks — from overly slick 80s synth-and-drum production. He resurrected it on his brilliant 1992 live album Fragments of A Rainy Season where the stripped down, piano only delivery is a perfect fit. Enjoy this live for television recording of a magnificent song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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