Song of the Day #1,329: ‘The Devil in Me’ – John Wesley Harding

My latest Random Weekend song comes courtesy of John Wesley Harding. ‘The Devil in Me’ is a nifty little power pop take on the themes The Rolling Stones mined so memorably in ‘Sympathy For the Devil.’

I last featured a John Wesley Harding song a little over a year ago and at the time I predicted I’d revisit him five years later. So thanks to iTunes’ random algorithm, I’m four years ahead of schedule.

Listening to this song, I have to echo the same comments I made a year ago. First, the Elvis Costello comparison is strong, in the vocals more than the music. It’s even a little disconcerting at the beginning of some of these verses.

And second, I’m reminded again how much I enjoy this album (Here Comes the Groom) every time I listen to it, no matter how infrequently that is.

I shot John F. Kennedy in Dallas in ’63
They blamed it on oswald carelessly
But it was the devil in me
Put Jesus on the cross, i put a gag on the boss
I kissed him on the cheek so he couldn’t speak
But that was the devil in me
It was the devil in me
It’s the devil in me that’s unlevelling me
Put it down to the devil in me

I made you breakfast, put poisoned sheets on the bed
I made you cry, couldda made you laugh instead
But that was the devil in me
So I killed you off, I tore your famous brown furcoat
I laughed at your cough, ignored your suicide note
But that was the devil in me…..

I blew up the bus, I started World War III
Hijacked the plane with Qadaffi, blew the hostages free
That was the devil in me
I’m sponsored by a company that I don’t believe in
I advertise their things for cash, that ain’t deceiving
No, that’s just the devil in me
It was the devil in me….

I gave you acid rain
I polluted the sea
I covered your thoughts up
With graffiti
You can call me by my real name
Or you can call me humanity
Because it all seems just like human behaviour
It all seems like human behaviour to me
Put it down to the devil in me

It was the devil in me
It was the devil in me
Well it’s the devil in me makes me do these things
Devil in me that makes me sing
Devil in me gave you a wedding ring
Put it down to the devil in me

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,329: ‘The Devil in Me’ – John Wesley Harding

  1. Dana says:

    Sort of a Costello voice with a bit of Springsteen style. Not bad.

  2. Ned says:

    Great pick. Love this album. And the EC connection is strong on this album because the Thomas boys are on bass and drums.

  3. Amy says:

    Never heard this song before, but I’m really liking it. Not sure why, but every time I see this guy’s name I think of a soap opera actor. I’m not sure what’s more unfortunate – that he shares a name with such a person, or that I have a passing familiarity with the name of soap opera actors.

    Regardless, good job random weekends! This one is a keeper.

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