Friday, October 27, 2006

No Love Today

More Chris Smither:

Why had I never heard of his guy? He is brilliant.

I need to see this guy play live someday. J-Bro, keep your eyes open. I'll fly down. Seriously. Through the magic of iTunes and XMNPR thru I have both live and studio versions of a lot of his songs. The live, single guitar and sing voice is just so great.

I seriously doubt Stacy Ferguson (oops, I'm sorry, "Fergie") could even sing a song like this. But maybe I just haven’t heard her emotional range. I'm sure when she and Mario Lopez and Jennifer Love Hewitt were on Kids Incorporated they did some soulful, plaintive love-gone-wrong songs. And maybe the acapella version "London Bridge" is sort of a Billie Holiday thing. Or then again, perhaps not.

Back to Chris Smither and "No Love Today"

Here's the story to the song:

Back in Chris' home town of New Orleans there was this fruit and vegetable vendor who'd walk down the street singing in a loud basso profundo voice about what he had to sell while being followed by his son who drove the fruit truck.

So the song is about being heartbroken and looking for love in the wrong places. The narrator (what do you call the principle voice in a character study song anyway?) sings the lines but the chorus is the produce man's voice.

You can read Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Robert Hunter, and Lou Reed lyrics all day long and you won't find many songs better than this one (and I feel the silly need to supply italics and boldness because some of this is extra-brilliant... I guess I'm the type who might highlight or underline passages of his Bible, if I had a bible):

No Love Today

I don't know much, when I knew less,
And I was heartbroke for the first time,
I was drowning in my tears,
I went looking for a lifeline,
Trying to find some comfort,
A simple tender touch,
Searching for some little cure
That would not cost too much,
And I could hear that produce wagon on the street,
I could hear that farmer singing,
As I cried myself to sleep


I got ba-na-na, watermelon,
peaches by the pound,
Sweet corn, mirliton,
mo' better than in town,
I got okra, enough to choke ya,
Beans of every kind,
If hungry is what's eatin' you
I'll sell you peace of mind,
But this ain't what you came to hear me say,
And I hate to disappoint you,
But I got no love today,
I got no love today,
I got no love today,
No love today

I could not love to save myself
From lonesome desperation.
Everything I thought was love
Was worthless imitation.
My concept of commitment
Was just to take all you could give,
I thought the cheapest thrills I loved
Were teachin' me to live,
But nothin' seemed to last or see me through
Nothin' but that little song
That I still sing for you.


No love today, none tomorrow,
Not now, not forever.
You can't see what comes for free,
I think you much too clever,
For your own good I will tell you
What's right before your eyes,
Intelligence is no defense
Against what this implies,
In the end no one will sell you what you need,
You can't buy it off the shelf,
You got to grow it from the seed.


No love today,
nah, fresh out.


Jas said...

Aye, aye, Cap'n Cook!

I'll be on the look out.

Tony Wesley said...

Just wandered in on a google search.

If you haven't seen Chris yet, do so. About ten years ago, I was introduced to him. Now I am hooked. I catch him every year when he comes to The Ark in Ann Arbor. And occasionally other venues in Michigan.

Did I read on your page that you're in Alaska? Wander over to and check out his Mar 2012 dates!