Song of the Day #1,028: ‘Don’t Forget Me’ – Neko Case

Now here’s a song that I’d never heard before discovering it through this cover version. ‘Don’t Forget Me’ was originally written and recorded by Harry Nilsson for his 1974 album Pussy Cats.

That album was produced by John Lennon and features a wild cover of Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ as well as gentler fare like this. Apparently Nilsson and Lennon’s hard partying carried over into the studio and resulted in a wild, half-genius, half-WTF album.

Nilsson even ruptured a vocal cord during the sessions but kept it to himself, and you can hear his voice getting progressively more harsh through the record.

I’ve long wanted to explore Nilsson’s career, starting with his famous album of Randy Newman songs (Nilsson Sings Newman) and moving on to his own compositions. He’s one of those artists I feel any self-respecting music lover should be at least passingly familiar with.

Neko Case’s cover of ‘Don’t Forget Me’ is a good start, though. It was recorded for her 2009 album Middle Cyclone, and while the sessions weren’t like the bacchanalian insanity of Pussy Cat, they were interesting in their own right.

Case owns a farm in Vermont, and has a collection of eight old pianos in the barn. For a few Middle Cyclone tracks, including this one, she conducted a “piano orchestra” with players at each instrument, creating a haunting and majestic sound.

In the wintertime keep your feet warm
But keep your clothes on and don’t forget me
Keep your memories
But keep your powder dry too

In the summer by the poolside
While the fireflies are all around you
I’ll miss you when I’m lonely
I’ll miss the alimony too

Don’t forget me, don’t forget me
Make it easy, only just for a little while
You know I think about you
Let me know you think about me too

And when we’re older and full of cancer
It doesn’t matter now, come on get happy
‘Cause nothing lasts forever
But I will always love you

Don’t forget me, please don’t forget me
Make it easy, only just for a little while
You know I think about you
Let me know you think about me too

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,028: ‘Don’t Forget Me’ – Neko Case

  1. Dana says:

    Good song, and I like what Case did with it. I too should probably know more about Nilsson’s music. In fact, the only song that comes to mind when I think of him is “Everybody’s Talkin’, ” which I like well enough but it never compelled me to hear much more. This SOTD, however, does peak my interest a bit more.

  2. Amy says:

    I, too, only think of “Everybody’s Talkin'” when I hear Nilsson’s name, but then I don’t consider myself a self-respecting music lover. I’m just someone who likes to listen to what I like to listen to.

    That said, I enjoyed today’s SOTD, though I wouldn’t necessarily run out to buy a Neko Case or a Harry Nilsson album because of it.

    My Idol pick for today will be one where, as Simon once put it, the male singer “is comfortable shopping in the women’s section.” For some reason, it often does seem that women more easily cover songs originally performed by men than the other way around. However, I’ve found, on Idol, at least, that it’s sometimes the male covers of women’s songs that are the most powerful.

    David Cook singing “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” Simon Cowell’s brilliant choice.

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