Song of the Day #1,323: ‘Shenandoah’ – Bruce Springsteen

Today’s Random Weekend selection is making up for a past sin.

When I spent a three weeks last year walking through Bruce Springsteen’s discography an album at a time, I skipped one in order to fit the series into the allotted time frame. That album was We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, Springsteen’s 2006 collection of classic folk songs.

Today, that record gets its due.

I skipped the album not because it isn’t worthy but because it consists entirely of covers and I preferred to focus on The Boss’ own songwriting. As a listening experience, We Shall Overcome is quite wonderful.

Springsteen and a group of musicians (not the E-Street Band, though a couple of members were included) holed up at his New Jersey farm and recorded these tracks live to tape. The songs have an unpolished grace — these are alternately some of the most rollicking and most beautiful moments Springsteen has committed to record.

Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter
Away you rolling river
I’ll take her across the water
Away, bound away
Cross the wide Missouri

My Shenandoah, I long to meet you
Away you rolling river
I’ll not deceive you
Away, bound away
Cross the wide Missouri

Hmmm…

For seven years I’ve been a roller
Away you rolling river
Seven years I’ve been a roller
Away, bound away
Cross the wide Missouri

Shenandoah, I love your daughter
The way you rolling river
I’ll take her across the water
Away, bound away
Cross the wide Missouri

Hmmm…

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,323: ‘Shenandoah’ – Bruce Springsteen

  1. Amy says:

    I loved his performance that opened the Grammy awards… reminded me of what an amazing songwriter and performer he is. Glad Random Weekends is providing another reminder of his excellence. This reminder also comes at a good time for me, as I was quite disappointed to learn just yesterday that Lyle Lovett’s new album is an album of nothing but covers! I was (and am) so disappointed, but today’s SOTD shows how much an artist reveals about himself when he chooses to record an album of covers.

    Perhaps Lyle’s new album will one day be ignored by you when you feature his best work 🙂

  2. Clay says:

    Funny, I had no idea Lovett had a new album on the way until I got an email from Amazon.com this morning. Then I saw this comment.

    Looks like there are two originals on the album, but I agree, Lovett is well overdue for a “real” album.

    But yes, as in the case of today’s SOTD, sometimes a covers album can be a wonderful listen.

  3. Dana says:

    Well, now I am bummed! As I wrote recently, I have been waiting and waiting for Lyle to come out with original songs. Oh, well.

    This is a beautiful version of Shenandoah, and I could certainly see giving this whole album a listen.

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