Friday, September 02, 2005

Top 5: Hurricane

Given the scope of the unfolding disaster along the Gulf Coast (about which I have been writing extensively over at the Daily Aneurysm), this is probably not the time to do what I am about to do here. I don't want to minimize the disaster in any way, and I'd encourage you, if you haven't already, to make a contribution to one of the many organizations undertaking relief efforts. But I started fooling around yesterday with a list of songs having something to do with hurricanes, and here are five of them.

"Oh Babe What Would You Say?"/Hurricane Smith. In a way, "Hurricane" was the perfect name for the old-timey music hall/vaudeville act of EMI Studios engineer Norman Smith. And his song is the diametric opposite of . . .

"Rock You Like a Hurricane"/Scorpions. Or as they sing it in their German-accented English, "rawk you like a hurri-can."

"Hurricane"/Leon Everette.
This was a big country hit in 1981, and you'd think it had been written by someone with direct knowledge of hurricanes:
Well I was born in the rain on the Pontchartrain
Underneath that Lou'siana moon
Don't mind the strain of a hurricane
She comes 'round every June
You'd think that, of course, until you realize that June is not remotely hurricane season in New Orleans. But "August" and "September" don't scan as well.

"Jumpin' Jack Flash"/Rolling Stones.
Belongs here entirely for its classic first line: "I was born in a crossfire hurricane."

"Hurricane"/Bob Dylan. Not about a storm at all, but the story of boxer Ruben "Hurricane" Carter's imprisonment on dubious murder charges. Dylan's lyric is awkward in some spots and strident in others, but has the irresistable forward motion the best storytellers use to keep you hooked.

I trust you will contribute other suggestions by clicking "Comments," and that you will contribute money to Hurricane Katrina disaster relief by choosing an organization here.


At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about "Like a Hurricane" by Neil Young?

At 6:29 PM, Blogger Willie said...

"When The Levee Breaks"/Led Zeppelin.

At 6:09 PM, Blogger Willie said...

"City of New Orleans"/Steve Goodman (Covered by Arlo Guthrie in 1972). True, it's more about a train and riding the rails than the Big Easy. This song always made me think of the city.

At 6:22 AM, Blogger Richard Gumsley said...

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