Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hurricane Gustav Countdown/Bruce Springsteen's "Jambalaya"

The wife and I were on the porch this afternoon - Saturday - when we got our Sunday New Orleans Times Picayune delivered to us. We never see our delivery guy, but they must have printed the Sunday paper early doe to Gustav. My stress over potential hurricane activity here in town was only accentuated by the news that "For Better or Worse" is ending its run in the comics. But the cartoonist is, apparently, starting a new strip with a completely different set of characters? Whatever....

Earlier today, I had my new external hard drive with my 120GB of music on it running on random, and I noticed a Springsteen song I've never listened to before. I have about 7GB of his bootlegs, so THAT'S no surprise since he has more unreleased tracks and alternate takes that just about any other artist I know besides Prince and, maybe, the Beatles. I saw that the track was called "Jambalaya" and played it, but it wasn't the traditional/Hank Williams song. The song starts out:
Well, I got a girl I want to tell you her name
She lives way down south in New Orleans
Well she's strong like a lion, she's wild like a tiger
And I call that woman Jambalaya
You can see from the lyrics why this wasn't released on any of his albums. Why would you call your woman - first, by any other term but her name or a semi-traditional nickname ("Babe", "Sweetie", "Hot-Pants", "She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed") - and, second - by "Jambalaya"??? unless, I guess, she was spicy and smelled like seafood. :) It has some musical elements identical to some other boots/early takes of his other songs, but with Gustav threatening, I was a little put off by one of the next lines:
Well she hits you like a hurricane
Which, again, with Gustav finally passing over Cuba and Mayor Ray "School Bus" Nagin saying that AGAIN this is the "mother of all storms" is NOT what I wanted to hear, BUT this was only a semi-ominous portent since the song itself didn't come up randomly in my Winamp rotation, but was a song adjacent to the Springsteen tune that was actually playing (which was something like the 19th take of "Racing in the Streets" or one of his other standards - not that I don't love the early studio variations of the songs all of his fans know).

And I thought I would upload my copy of the Boss's "Jambalaya" to YouTube as just an audio file with a still photo, BUT, of course, someone has done this all ready:

(Is it some legal requirement that all bloggers have to embed a YouTube clip in every three or four posts or so?)

And, about Gustav, we're going to ride it out unless - come Sunday morning by which time the damn storm itself will actually be in the Gulf of Mexico - it takes a turn to the East. In the meantime, Mayor Nagin and all the other local yokels are just playing a grand game of CYA because of their incompetence three years ago.

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