Song of the Day #1,485: ‘Trouble Over Me’ – Tift Merritt

My routine for picking these Random Weekend selections is to fire up iTunes, close my eyes and click the ‘next’ button. I like to hear the lucky song before I see what it is, and to see how many seconds I’ll need to identify it.

When I heard the first guitar notes of today’s SOTD, I couldn’t help but smile. I knew instantly that I was listening to the opening track of Tift Merritt’s first album, Bramble Rose — the only CD in my collection that is signed by the artist who recorded it.

I already loved Merritt’s sophomore album, Tambourine, when I was fortunate enough to see her open for Elvis Costello in Miami. She met her fans outside the auditorium afterward and I took the opportunity to buy her first album and share a brief but memorable exchange.

I listened to the album on my long drive home that night and loved it, just as I would love everything else she’d record (two more albums since Tambourine).

This song in particular puts me right back in that dark car on a stretch of I-95 bathed in yellow light, still coming down from the buzz of the concert, my throat a little sore from yelling for Costello’s encore, probably still a little flushed from meeting the beautiful woman responsible for the beautiful sound coming out of my speakers.

You’re not my boyfriend, I don’t want a boyfriend
Just make a little trouble over me
In your kitchen, on the way to your window
Walking down your hallway
Make some trouble over me

I’ll play hard to get but if I mean it
Just make a little trouble over me
Leave me alone. Do what you want to
See, I got some things on my mind

Don’t treat me bad, that’s not what I’m asking
Look out your window, everyone’s in line
Paper truth in strings, hearts and broken things
Love goes for quite a price
I don’t want you for mine. Oh, but don’t we get along fine

Tell me a secret before you meant to
Worry what I’ll do. Trouble over me
If you touch me, it’s only by accident
Oh, wrists and fingertips. Trouble over me



In your kitchen, on the way to your window
Walking down your hallway, make some trouble over me
Button my coat up, stumble with your words some
Let me think that you might go to a little trouble over me

Just a little
Just a little trouble
Just a little trouble over

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,485: ‘Trouble Over Me’ – Tift Merritt

  1. Dana says:

    Wonderful description of that evening, though your drive home was clearly more memorable than mine,:)

  2. Amy says:

    I enjoy every song you post by Tift Merritt. I was just about to say that she often reminds me of Mary Chapin Carpenter, when I remembered sharing a FB pic with you where MCC called Tift her best friend, so… I guess it makes sense that they have a similar sensibility. I prefer Carpenter’s voice, but this sort of folk/country (not sure how to label it, really) is probably the genre of music I most consistently enjoy.

    On another note, how cool is it that Elvis Costello asked Tift Merritt to open for him on that tour? I love when I discover (which, I know, wasn’t the case with you, but likely was for most people in the audience that night) a new artist because she is an opening act for someone I love. Over the years, I’ve seen Robert Cray open twice – once for Bruce Hornsby and once for…. I’m not sure. Bruce Hornsby opened for Bonnie Raitt (but he was already established at that time). One of my favorite discoveries was when Michael Franti “opened” (technically, all the groups sort of shared the whole night, but his band did kick things off) for Counting Crows. I’m sure there are other examples that aren’t popping right into my mind, but there’s nothing quite as delightful as expecting to want the opening act to rush off stage only to find that you’re, instead, falling in love with a new artist.

    Meanwhile, I’m glad to have been a little part of that night for you and for encouraging you to go talk to her so you didn’t miss the opportunity (perhaps I’m embellishing, but it seems probable 😉

  3. pegclifton says:

    It is a wonderful description of your evening. She has a lovely voice.

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