Song of the Day, January 27: Carmelita by Warren Zevon

ZevonCarmelitaToday’s song is one of Warren Zevon’s tales of the lost. After some time in a duo and a solo debut that he later disowned, Zevon teamed with producer Jackson Browne to craft his darkly brilliant eponymous album in 1976. It was a huge leap forward, with smart, literate lyrics and a variety of folk-tinged rock and pop tracks. He became famous over the years for his stories of the downtrodden and outcast — Carmelita is one of the first of these.

With a lovely acoustic guitar figure that conjures up Latin American scenes, the song’s lyrics clash with the sweet music perfectly. Zevon’s narrator is “all strung out on heroin” and looks for solace from his lover, Carmelita. She’s not in much better shape. The pair are oddly sympathetic, with Zevon singing sweetly about their pain. It’s a smart song that indicated the vast talent he had just begun to tap.

Enjoy this dark tale 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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