Song of the Day #3,239: ‘The Cowboy Mambo (Hey Lookit Me Now)’ – David Byrne vs. Taylor Swift

Today’s Montauk Madness matchup is similar to yesterday’s, in that it pits a modern-day juggernaut against an established artist likely past his prime.

Apart from Adele, nobody has the four-quadrant appeal of Taylor Swift. She parlayed country stardom into pop superstardom and is now pretty a much a genre unto herself. David Byrne is an indie rock, New Wave and world music pioneer who has influenced scores of modern musicians. Note: For the purposes of this face-off, we are considering only Byrne’s solo work, and not Talking Heads.

While I respect Swift as both a songwriter and a pop culture icon, this is an easier pick for me than Tom Petty over Beyoncé. David Byrne takes it. Maybe it’s because I’m a middle-aged white guy.

I can’t find my way around this table
And I can’t find my way around your face
And I can’t find my way around your body
And wasted days turn into wasted nights

Hey lookit me now!
Hey lookit me now!
Hey lookit me now now now now now now!
Lookit me now!

The future isn’t quite what you imagined
Ev’rything you valued has been sold
And ev’ry heart that takes a chance is broken
Now I don’t see you laughin’ at us no more

Hey look at you now!
Hey look at you now!
Hey look at you now now now now now now!
Look at you now!

Green grass grows around the backyard shithouse
And that is where the sweetest flowers bloom
We are flowers growin’ in God’s garden
And that is why he spreads the shit around

Hey look at us now!
Hey look at us now!
Hey look at us now now now now now now!
Look at us now!

Hey lookit me now!
Hey lookit me now!
Hey lookit me now now now now now now!
Lookit me now!

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5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,239: ‘The Cowboy Mambo (Hey Lookit Me Now)’ – David Byrne vs. Taylor Swift

  1. Dana says:

    I’ve often said that Byrne is in the pantheon of genius artists and so one might assume this would be an easy pick for me. However, Swift is an incredibly accomplished songwriter and performer who, in a relatively younger career, has displayed substantial diversity.

    Maybe my middle aged white male guilt over picking Petty over Beyoncé yesterday is influencing my vote here, but I’m going with Swift.

  2. Amy says:

    While this pick was much easier for me than yesterday’s choice, in both instances I opted for the women who are defying easy labels, challenging what both the industry and audiences are expecting of them. Who knows how many Beyonce’s and Taylor Swift’s weren’t given the chance to make their mark when Petty and Byrne were first starting out. It would be a shame for them not to easily advance past this first round, despite the talents of their formidable opposition.

    • Clay says:

      I could use this exact comment to justify my vote for Sinead O’Connor over Sting (and Sinead made her mark when it was even harder for women to get ahead in the industry).

  3. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    This wasn’t going to be that difficult a choice for me. However, when you said that we were only choosing between David Byrne’s solo work and Taylor Swift it became even easier. Though I am a huge David Byrne fan and love his vocal delivery and almost psychadeling lyrics I have to give this one to Taylor Swift. She is one of the best singer songwriters of all time in my opinion and has an uncanny ability to perfectly capture the feeling of the moment whether it be through the medium of pop or country. She is someone I could see choosing over some of my favorite bands as well seeing how far she hopefully advances. I’m a little surprised by your choice on this one. Perhaps, you haven’t listened to “All too Well” in a little while.

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