Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bright Eyes - Papa Was a Rodeo (Magnetic Fields cover)

Here's a brand-new Bright Eyes song- a cover of the Magnetic Fields "Papa Was a Rodeo." The original is from the 1999 album 69 Love Songs, my personal favorite album of all-time, and an album that I cannot recommend enough. "Papa Was a Rodeo" is arguably the best song on the album, though everyone seems to have their own personal favorite songs and disc.

This Bright Eyes cover is from the upcoming compilation Score! 20 Years of Merge Records, out in 2-weeks. It is limited to only 7,500 copies, so I would recommenced pre-ordering it now.

As for the cover itself, I really like it. It is more akin to the electric based Bright Eyes style that Conor experimented with on 2005's Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, though there are actual string instruments on the song as well. Though I personally find that album to be one of Bright Eyes weakest, the approach oddly works for this cover. Nothing can really beat the original, so I admire this creative approach to the song.

Bright Eyes - Papa Was a Rodeo

For anyone who has not heard it, here is the original:

The Magnetic Fields - Papa Was a Rodeo


As a bonus, here's another cover of "Papa was a Rodeo," this time done by singer/songwriter Kelly Hogan. It's more akin to the source material, though of course is sung by a female. Though this does away with the gender shifting of the original (Mike is actually a female) it is a great cover overall, and the alt-country sound works well with the original song's structure and themes.

Kelly Hogan - Papa Was a Rodeo


I like your twisted point of view, Mike
I like your questioning eyebrows
You've made it pretty clear what you like
It's only fair to tell you now
that I leave early in the morning
and I won't be back till next year
I see that kiss-me pucker forming
but maybe you should plug it with a beer, 'cause

Papa was a rodeo
Mama was a rock'n'roll band
I could play guitar and rope a steer
before I learned to stand
Home was anywhere with diesel gas
Love was a trucker's hand
Never stuck around long enough
for a one-night stand
Before you kiss me you should know
Papa was a rodeo

The light reflecting off the mirror ball
looks like a thousand swirling eyes
They make me think I shouldn't be here at all
You know, every minute someone dies
What are we doing in this dive bar?
How can you live in a place like this?
Why don't you just get into my car
And I'll take you away
I'll take that kiss now, but

Papa was a rodeo
Mama was a rock'n'roll band
I could play guitar and rope a steer
before I learned to stand
Home was anywhere with diesel gas
Love was a trucker's hand
Never stuck around long enough
for a one-night stand
Before you kiss me you should know
Papa was a rodeo

And now it's 55 years later
We've had the romance of the century
After all these years wrestling gators
I still feel like crying
When I think of what you said to me:

"Papa was a rodeo
Mama was a rock'n'roll band
I could play guitar and rope a steer
before I learned to stand
Home was anywhere with diesel gas
Love was a trucker's hand
Never stuck around long enough
for a one-night stand
Before you kiss me you should know
Papa was a rodeo,"

What a coincidence
Your papa was a rodeo, too


Pre-order Score! 20 Years of Merge Records

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