Song of the Day #2,124: ‘Emaline (Live)’ – Ben Folds Five

ben_folds_fiveWhen picking my five desert island songs, or however you want to characterize this list of essential tracks, I knew I had to include a Ben Folds Five tune.

The harder question was which one.

Something from the debut album — ‘Jackson Cannery’ or ‘Philosophy,’ perhaps, or ‘Alice Childress’? Or one of the lush standouts from their sophomore effort — ‘Selfless, Cold and Composed’ or ‘Missing the War’?

All worthy options, as are a dozen others. But I knew pretty quickly that I would have to go with ‘Emaline,’ an early B-side that perfectly captures the energy, heart and sublime musicality of this band.

My favorite version of this song is the live performance included on the ‘Where’s Summer B?’ CD single. I featured it on the blog way back at Song of the Day #27. That’s the one I’d put on my top five list, though today’s clip, from Sessions at West 54th, is a close cousin.

I wish it was last September,
When we could lose ourselves in crowds everyday,
‘Cause Emaline don’t walk in time,
She’s not the same,
That’s all you can say.

When I’ve heard enough,
I tell myself that we’ve learned our lesson,
But I don’t wanna walk away from Emaline.

They’re talking now,
Does she know what they’re saying?
She’s got the air to float above it,
I’m sinking in and someone should pay.
She’s dear to me and so expensive,
Now I’m not talking ’bout money,
When money talks and I hate to listen,
But lately it’s been screaming in my ear.

And when I’ve heard enough,
I tell myself that we’ve learned our lesson,
But I don’t wanna walk away from Emaline.

It only took me one look to understand Emaline,
Sometimes I don’t know what she’s saying,
Sometimes I do,
Sometimes I don’t know what she’s saying,
But I know I know,
I know what she wants to believe.

I wish it was last September.

Don’t let me walk away from Emaline,
For stupid reasons,
Now I’m talking ’bout money,
When money talks and I hate to listen,
But lately it’s been screaming in my ear.

Well what advice,
Girls need attention,
Well are you deafer than all-night?
For all it’s worth she’s got attention,
For people like you see black and white.

Now I’ve heard enough,
I’ll tell you what,
I really shouldn’t sit here and whine,
I’ll take you down to see my Emaline.

I wish it was…

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,124: ‘Emaline (Live)’ – Ben Folds Five

  1. Amy says:

    Interesting pick. I think I’d have to go for “Alice Childress” if I were to limit myself to one song by this band, but this is a worthy pick for sure.

  2. Dana says:

    A so,I’d pick to be sure, though I’m not sure it would be my pick either. “Childress” is a worthy selection as well. I might personally punt to something from Folds’ solo career like “Landed.”

    Meanwhile, I can’t get over looking at that young face on Ben. I remember seeing them in concert when he looked like that. geez, we are getting old!

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