Collecting Patty's comments about her songs??

Discuss specific songs or Patty's music in general.

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Collecting Patty's comments about her songs??

Postby TontoBronto » Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:18 am

Is there a way to post what Patty says about her own songs (in some useful way)??
I've been listening to the XM Loft show, and it seems that Patty makes a number of comments that fans would find interesting. One example: Patty's mom used to sing a song about the moon (♬ I see the moon, and the moon sees me ♬), but Patty could never remember the words, so she made up her own.

I remember her comment about "No Bad News" being about Bush (first on Bob Harris Country??). New fans might like that info??
Seems like it'd be cool to have a big thread like "PattyComments" with sub-threads for each song??
Last edited by TontoBronto on Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:34 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby flamingred09 » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:37 am

Yeah Tonto, I think that this is a great idea!

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Postby TontoBronto » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:48 am

And there's that tidbit about "Heavenly Day" being a "love song..........to her dog". Old timers have probably heard that line many times, but people new to the forum would like to know.

There's also that long explanation somewhere about Patty having her house remodeled, so they had been away for a while and Bean (?) was just thrilled when they returned. (I can't remember WHERE/ WHEN she said that, so it'd be kinda neat to have it posted somewhere [esp. as Arlene gets older and more and more forgetful].
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Postby Little_Kites » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:37 pm

But doesn't it seem like she gives a lot of these tidbits when she introduces these songs at shows. So how would it work then. (well not just shows I mean when interviewed she gives tidbits about the song as well) Either someone would have to follow Patty around when she tours and make sure they remember every comment she gives about a song or listen to endless amounts bootlegs and record Patty's comments to a song.

Lets see:

I remember Patty saying that Christina was one of her oldest songs. That she wrote it after seeing a documentary on Christina Onassis.

Wasn't Not Alone written about an article she read in a newspaper??

Anyway good idea!
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Postby TontoBronto » Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:12 am

Little_Kites wrote:... So how would it work then. (well not just shows I mean when interviewed she gives tidbits about the song as well). [Someone would have to] listen to endless amounts bootlegs and record Patty's comments to a song.
....
I didn't have any definite idea how to make this happen. :oops:
Just thought it'd be great to have a thread where ALL members could post a tidbit they heard on a boot or in person.
If the main thread was "Patty on Patty",
............a subthread could be "Flaming Red".
...........................a sub-subthread could be "Song: Flaming Red"
...........................another could be.............."Song: One Big Love:
etc etc etc.

Or an alphabetical listing of the songs??
Probably some songs would never get any comments, but at least the structure would be there in case Patty says something.

I stumbled onto my XM Loft disc quite by accident and have played it several times this week (which started this thread), so I could have posted the little intros as I listened to the show. I'll probably forget many details as time goes on.
My idea was for everyone to be able to contribute (rather than one person or two having to approach it like his/ her masters dissertation).
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
One other tidbit: I remember John Hiatt interviewing Patty on "Sessions at West 54th" and asking whether "Peter Pan" was written about "someone in specific".* Patty replied, with a chuckle, that yes it WAS, but never went into details. One wonders if she'll ever share completely, but THAT kind of info could go in here??


*Hiatt DID use this odd phrase (or something like it), seemingly getting "someone in particular" & "someone specific" jumbled up in his mouth??
(Or maybe that's a normal phrase for some people?)
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Postby TontoBronto » Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:20 am

An mp3 of Patty's Loft Sessions appearance doing "The Moon Song"---

https://www.yousendit.com/download/bVlE ... bHhMWEE9PQ

Patty gives a little intro about her mom singing a song about the moon and sings a few ♪ bars ♪. :D

The Yousendit link may have expired by now, but the mom-version of Moon Song is somwthing like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HNwrKAcUwQ
Last edited by TontoBronto on Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby lily » Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:29 am

Yes, I'm a touch obsessive or something... but I always transcribe what was said before and after every song on all the boots I have...

Some more tidbits:
Cold As It Gets inspired by WW2 concentration camp story (Boston 2004)

Tony was the first... no second (she corrects herself) song she ever wrote in alt tuning (Hamilton College 1995) - there's also a bit about loving Regis Philbin and not having a TV....

"Hudson Bus Line, had to make some stuff up cos I don't remember, but I do remember" (Boston 2004) (Burgundy Shoes intro)

Cain was about the article in the issue of Rolling Stone with John Travolta on the cover after the movie Get Shorty (which she loved) about the kids in Wisconsin that killed themselves in this crazy blood-bath (my editorial... I'll dig out the article for the actual title... I have it somewhere) - Nashville 1996

Kite Song was about the Kite Festival in Austin that her and Traci (I am pretty sure) went to by accident and that they noticed all the kites and whoever she was with was worried about the war (I believe that they had a brother or sister going overseas... I have to check that info because it's in a diff introduction to the song) and its "kinda promoting the use of kites", clueless about kite festival "self absorbed", wouldn't it be cool if we all had kites to fly instead of bombs to drop?" (Boston 2004)

We Are Water - Ty is the friend in Nashville that has to pee every time he hears the song which has apparently rubbed off on her as well... and it was written about someone who was moving from Boston and she didn't want him to go and it must have worked because he ended up staying

Boxes on the Lawn - "One of those dry days, stactic cling, wrote this last spring when I was moving" - Club Passim 1994 (Apparently the cat's name was Rosebud, so she could call her Rose or Bud depending on the mood - the cat was also listening... because Patty had left on the radio at the apt.)

Mother of God - growing up there actually was a picture of Mary at the foot of her bed (Whitaker Center 2004)
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Postby flamingred09 » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:39 pm

Wow Lily,

you're good! :D

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Postby Little_Kites » Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:28 pm

Uh yeah wow Lily you're good!

Didn't she say her mother use to sing J'irai La Voir Un Jour and that Patty's French isn't that great...its on the Belle of the Scottish Rite boot..
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Postby Russell » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:38 am

Here's a sort of review of Impossible Dream that includes segments of an interview that the author had with Patty and in which Patty was unusually candid about some of the background themes of her songs:

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2004/04/the-sublime-comedy-of-patty-griffin.html

Since I treasure the Impossible Dream sequence of songs from "Standing" through "Icicles" to be one of the best album song sequences ever and consider the pairing of "Florida" and "Mother of God" as the powerful golden nugget in the treasure, I particularly enjoy Patty's comments on those two songs:

[author] Two of the later tracks, “Florida” and “Mother of God,” form a sort of couplet, each song taking the perspective of characters with an implicit (though not immediately apparent) connection. [Patty] “I think ‘Florida’ is the daughter. ‘Florida’ is about giving up all hope. There’s some freedom in that, to let go of hoping for anything. And on ‘Mother of God,’ well, a lot of emphasis is put on women finding fulfillment in relationships. They go through their whole life never having developed a private world because their fulfillment was to be in caring about somebody, and somebody reciprocating. You wait for it to come back, and you might keep waiting. In ‘Florida’ I think she finally figures out she’s gotta make that happen herself. She says, I’m going to get some sleep now; I’m not going to wait anymore.”
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Postby marybeth » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:57 am

You can also learn a few things Patty said by reading her bio on this site. :)
http://www.marybethdamico.com

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Postby lily » Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:57 pm

Arlene: I know I read that too... I think perhaps in the article from Texas Music Monthly? If I'm not mistaken she said that she had the wall of her duplex removed, so that it wasn't a duplex anymore... and at one point or another she had a trumpet player living in the other side who mowed her lawn. I need to find the source of that one though.

The RS article that Cain was about is called "Gang Murder in the Heartland" and in the Feb 22, 1996 issue #728

And before J'irai La Voir Un Jour at the KCRW studios she said that her grandmother taught her the song, that she was Acadian French, and that she had died the November prior at the age of 99. Her grandmother (maternal)'s name was Imelda Mary Martin and according to the Bangor Daily News, she worked in the yarn department of Freese's Department Store and then after she retired she helped care for the sick as a home companion.

In the Flaming Red era Radio Show on Idiots Delight, she shares that she never actually went to a full-out Catholic school but had to go to catechism first on Sundays and then later it was moved to Thursday afternoons and that at one point her father had tried to be a Trappist monk.

The various bits of stream of consiousness banter from the Hamilton College show also include this: It wouldn't be a Patty Griffin show without a string breaking, psych school, Nashville, ribs and bourbon, uptight northeastern chicks, semi-veg or veg in Nashville, forget it, Slice of Life, tofu and grilled vegetables every day, all these people dying of heart attacks, shoving grease down their throats, if that's what you wanna do, we are really uptight here, cold weather, air's dry, heat in apt broke, just a matter of turning it, I'm a mechanical genius, lady in her apt before her, more weird shit, it's not Notre Dame, I don't have to worry about that, or Robert's university, song for Christine

And we also find out the Keswick Theater Singer Songwriters show that she knows an awful lot about puppy Prozac.
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Postby Arlene » Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:49 am

Can't remember when but I recall hearing or reading Patty say that she wrote Truth No. 2 after attending a writer-in-the-round performance given by Buddy and Julie Miller at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

Here's some great footage of Julie singing Broken Things at the Bluebird with Buddy accompanying her on guitar. Not sure if this is the same performance which inspired Patty but who knows? See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xqmH-PHN98

And while you're at it, here's a classic: Julie with Patty on harmony vocals performing I Still Cry in 2000 on Austin City Limits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXk0Fj29rwI&NR=1

(Can't wait for the new Buddy and Julie album produced by T Bone Burnett that will be released in March of '09. In a recent interview given to a radio station in Scotland, Buddy said that other artists who perform on his new album include Patty, Emmylou and Robert Plant.)
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Postby lily » Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:43 pm

And all the millions of times she talked about Burgundy Shoes being written in a contest with Craig Ross to write a happy song.
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Postby outta » Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:26 pm

I think I need to stay out of the political threads and read this one. Surely, it would lighten or enlighten my political mood .... :roll:
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