Song of the week

From Can’t Explain…..

Ferron, “I Never Was to Africa” (1984)
From one of the great break-up albums, Shadows on a Dime. I’m not normally one for touchy-feely folkie fare, particularly of such an arguably Kumbayah new-age bent (fair warning, all), but I think Ferron is something of a special case. Her imagery is tender and sharply observed; the line here about the synchronicity of saying “I love you” to future partners is just great, and she tosses it off so casually too. I saw her a few times way back and remember her as a terrific performer, funny and with a knack for storytelling and even for stunts like getting the crowd to sing along. It may sound cloying, but trust me, it was anything but. Maybe you had to be there. If you were, by some chance, these songs are likely to bring it all roaring back.

About last week: “Snowin’ in Brooklyn”
More stuff at Can’t Explain.

21 replies
  1. 1
    lamh34 says:

    It’s amazing how much having good co-workers can make even the hum-drum days of work seem bearable. Thx to my co-worker who bought me a chocolate cheesecake sampler for my b-day tomorrow, I’ll be on a sugar high all night…lol.

    If I could find a song that describes the magic that is chocolate cheesecake, I’d post it!

  2. 2
    PhoenixRising says:

    Soon as I find my shoes I’m gone.

    Best breakup song evah.

    Her best, though, isn’t the love-song milieu.

    More than ever, really, it won’t take long.

  3. 3
    DougJ says:


    Happy b-day in advance!

  4. 4
    lamh34 says:

    @DougJ: thx, as a heads up, I’m gonna be changing my from lamh34 to lamh35 tomorrow. so hopefully WP doesn’t give me any problems…

  5. 5

    Is it possible to put in a timer, so that once a front pager puts up a post it won’t let you guys put up another one for at least 90 minutes? It really is impossible to follow any sort of conversation around here.

    You need to decide whether you want a blog built around the front page posts or whether you want one that has meaningful discussions in the comment threads. Too often, you sacrifice the latter in order to indulge the former. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m coming here less and less often because there’s no point. I can make a comment, but no one is paying attention any longer because two more posts have taken the place of the one I was commenting on.

  6. 6
    harlana says:

    Tweety has been hawking his book so much, he’s lost his voice.

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Tweety has been hawking his book so much, he’s lost his voice.

    The upside of this outweighs any possible downside, I’m thinking.

  8. 8
    DougJ says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    I think the comments work better when there are frequent posts, personally.

  9. 9
    harlana says:

    Gawd, he sounds awful. I really wonder if he’s gonna make it. Somebody give that man a Ricola.

  10. 10
    smelter rat says:

    Ferron played the Brandon Folk Music and Arts Festival this past July. She kicked ass! good to see her back in fine form.

  11. 11
    mrmike says:

    I’ve been a fan since seeing her in the early 80’s. I *am* a big folkie so it’s not entirely surprising but I agree with you that she’s a little something special.

  12. 12
    harlana says:

    @DougJ: there goes another one! =D

  13. 13
    harlana says:

    Folk? Did someone say folk? Did someone say love song?

  14. 14

    @DougJ: Okay, then when I want to say something, I’ll post it in five different threads in the hopes that I’ll get a response in one of them.

    The comments may work better for some things with lots of threads, but not if you’re someone who isn’t here *constantly* but also wants to have some sort of multiply iterated conversation. If I check in and comment on something and then don’t come back for a couple of hours, it’s increasingly likely that the thread I commented on is now five posts down the page and isn’t being checked on any longer.

    Yes, the long threads that sometimes result are unwieldy, but at least it’s possible to talk to people.

    Maybe the most recent open thread can be pinned to the top of the page? That would keep it more available for general talk. What you get now is either crosstalk in another thread because the open one isn’t apparent anywhere, or so many open threads posted during the day that none of them become large enough to have anything meaningful.

    Edit: Notice, for instance, that less than 45 minutes after this thread was posted, it’s now shoved way down the page any people just looking for banter may well not find it.

  15. 15
    piratedan says:

    breakup songs? I know that I played this one for about four hours straight after watching my then girlfriend performing an oral tonsillectomy on another fella back in college….

  16. 16
    DougJ says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    I feel like we’ve had a bunch of comments devolve recently into the same people yelling at each other, and I feel like more frequent posts stops that from happening.

  17. 17
    burnspbesq says:

    IIRC, Ferron was out long before it was comfortable for women musicians to be out.

    Hard to top this as a breakup song. IMHO, the best thing he ever wrote.

  18. 18
    burnspbesq says:

    Although you could make a case for this.

  19. 19
    jnfr says:

    Thanks, Doug. I was there then, and I like remembering this album.

  20. 20
    Shadow's Mom says:

    Wow! Thanks, Doug. Love Ferron, saw her at West Coast Women’s Music Festival in the mid-80s, during the heyday of second wave feminism and live in Berkeley. My favorite song from that album is the title cut, Shadows on a Dime. “You move forward fast by holding back. You gauge your steps but you don’t look back…It’s so optional what you may or may not lose in this pattern we call time.”

    In late 80’s, I’d heard that she was not able to enter the country because she was an out and open lesbian. I greatly respect her music and lyrics, which haunt me to this day.

  21. 21

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