Song of the Day #6: ‘Hold On, Hold On’ – Neko Case

I have many reasons to love Neko Case’s 2006 album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood: her amazing, husky vocals; her stellar songwriting; the production that hits a perfect balance between earnest country and gothic romance.

But Reason #1 is that it’s my 6-year-old daughter’s favorite CD. When we’re in my car, Sophia likes to rifle through my CD case and pick an album for us to listen to during the ride. Months ago she was immediately drawn to the Fox Confessor Brings the Flood disc because, well, it has a cartoon fox on it. Two songs in, she was hooked.

From then on, she didn’t need to look at the CD case. When we got in the car, she’d say “Can we listen to the fox CD?” And I’d happily oblige. We’re not talking about Barney here… this is as rich and gorgeous an album as I’ve heard in years, filled with beautiful sad songs about heartbreak and loneliness. I have to say, my kid has great taste in music.

We love all the songs, but the first three are our favorites, probably because we’ve heard them the most (our trips, after all, are usually down the street to school or to Costco).

Track three, ‘Hold On, Hold On,’ is a low-key rocker with a terrific guitar line that sounds like something out of an alt-rock western. Case’s lyrics are often quite cryptic but this one is pretty obviously about a woman who is unlucky in love, both familial and romantic. A good night these days in when she doesn’t wind up going home with the wrong man.

The most tender place in my heart is for strangers
I know it’s unkind but my own blood is much too dangerous

I leave the party at three a.m.
Alone, thank God
With a valium from the bride
It’s the devil I love
And that’s as funny as real love

She’s heard the pep talks but has come to realize they’re just empty promises:

That echo chorus lied to me with its
“Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on”

Good stuff. Play it for your 6-year-old — she’ll love it.

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #6: ‘Hold On, Hold On’ – Neko Case

  1. Amy says:

    I’d love to be a fly hovering in Costco as Daddy explains to his six-year old daughter what Valium is and why Ms.Fox would sometimes not go home ALONE from a party she was leaving at 3 a.m. Not only does this Neko provide catchy tunes, but she offers an opportunity to teach life lessons to your children. Priceless. We had a similar situation with Maddie embracing Counting Crows’ This Desert Life, especially the first two songs, “Hanging Around,” and “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby.” When you’ve been listening to non-stop Disney songs and other kiddie compilations, your joy at your child requesting “grown up music” completely overrides any concern that you might have to explain why “they spent all day getting sober.” Hell, it’s never too early to have an honest conversation about drugs and alcohol with your kids. Especially when the music’s this jaunty.

  2. Dana says:

    Never heard of Neko Case (See how hop i’m not!) Nice tune, kind of a blend of Amy Mann meets Lucinda Williams–which is both a compliment and, at the same time, why I find her sound a bit less “original.” Anyway, it was certainly pleasant enough to consider hearing more of her.

  3. Amy says:

    So “hop” that you think Aimee Mann spells her name the same way your beloved wife does ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Clay says:

    I was going to go in and fix those typos but now Amy’s comment won’t make sense, so I’ll leave them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve never heard a similarity to Mann or Williams in this album, but I’m not the best judge of that sort of thing. This song is less “original” than the rest of the album, though.

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