Song of the Day #3,376: ‘James’ – Josh Rouse

Nice work by the Random iTunes Fairy this weekend, serving up two of my favorite singer-songwriters with Ben Folds yesterday and Josh Rouse today.

‘James’ is a track from Rouse’s 2003 album 1972, one of his best efforts. Inspired by the sound and style of the decade it’s named after, 1972 is a sharp and satisfying listen and ‘James’ is one of its best songs.

I don’t know if this song was inspired by a real-life figure, a character from a book or movie or Rouse’s own imagination, but regardless, it’s a quick, effective sketch of a man who has failed those who loved him best.

He decided he’d be better off alone
So he left his wife and child and went solo
It is summertime, Atlanta’s hot as hell
He thinks back to what he had, and where he’s now

(Whoo) James can’t stop hangin’ out in the bars
He’s on top, breakin’ all the ladies’ hearts
James ain’t got a problem with alcohol
He can’t stop hangin’ out in the bars

Found a pay phone, and the courage, it did swell
What to say James never really knew that well
And his apology was more than they could stand
“I’m just a poor excuse for what some call a man”

James can’t stop hangin’ out in the bars
He’s on top, breakin’ all the ladies’ hearts
James ain’t got a problem with alcohol
He can’t stop hangin’ out in the bars

Oh-oh, oh-oh
Oh-oh, ooh

“So I want you to be spirited and brave
Find someone to love, but never take my place”
He hung the phone up and defeated his own life
Disappeared into the closest neon sign

(Whoo) James can’t stop hangin’ out in the bars
He’s on top, breakin’ all the ladies’ hearts
James ain’t got a problem with alcohol
He can’t stop hangin’ out in the bars (Whoo)

James can’t stop

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One thought on “Song of the Day #3,376: ‘James’ – Josh Rouse

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    He really does have a nice sound.

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