Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

12.4.11

Song of the month: April.

The song opens with an unaccompanied voice – when I woke up this morning – sung in a single note. Then a rhythm guitar ticks off the heartbeat of a person who might have woken in fright, and the voice comes again:

you were on my mind

The tempo picks up a gear. A drum chases the voice through the next verse, tom-tomming a tattoo of fear. Then the voice is alone again with the ticking rhythm:

so I went to the corner/just to ease my pain/I said just to ease my pain

The chase resumes with a tambourine joining the drum in the stalk. It’s building.

but I've got a feeling/yeah, down in my shoes/I said way down in my shoes

Then a screaming organ joins in, punctuated by a sinister brass note. But the chase stops suddenly as if in a feint.

The song finishes with no result, no ending, nothing but pain:

I got wounds to bind

Crispian St Peter's You Were on My Mind is a three minute spine-chiller. Even the silences in between the rhythm notes sound ominous. Sit in a dark room and listen to it on vinyl and experience one of the starkest, sparest, leanest productions of the 1960s. No flower power here.

You Were on My Mind
Crispian St Peters
Decca 1966

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I always listen to music when I’m in the kitchen, because talk radio and current affairs completely put you off eating, let alone cooking. So here’s a new feature in which I will share with you some of my favourite songs, monthly if I remember.

2 comments:

neil said...

Nice, I'd forgotten that song.

Right next to it on You Tube was Gordon Lightfoot's If You Could Read My Mind, one of the truest songs on breaking up I've ever heard.

kitchen hand said...

Neil, every song has its spiritual home and that for me was the Nullarbor desert, Christmas 1971. I'll write about it one day.