Song of the Day #3,252: ‘The Ocean’ – Dar Williams vs. Fiona Apple

Just yesterday I was discussing the tough road female artists have had in Round One of Montauk Madness, thanks to the luck of the draw in the matchups. Here’s another example, where two very talented women have to face off against each other (the first such battle, unless you count Lucinda Williams taking on the Shirley Manson-led Garbage).

Dar Williams is a relatively obscure artist who has quietly released almost a dozen albums of literate folk pop. She is a master lyricist and knows her way around a melody, and she’s responsible for one of my very favorite songs, ‘When I Was a Boy.’

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Song of the Day #2,578: ‘Teenagers, Kick Our Butts’ – Dar Williams

endofsummerIf somebody asked me to recommend a musical artist they’d never heard of, my first answer would be Tift Merritt. She’s the best.

This assumes, by the way, that people have heard of Ben Folds and Belle & Sebastian.

My second answer might be Josh Rouse or Ron Sexsmith. Or it could well be Dar Williams, the writer and singer of today’s random iTunes selection. She’d be in the top five, no question.

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Song of the Day #2,189: ‘The Blessings’ – Dar Williams

mortalcityEnjoy ‘The Blessings,’ another great songs from Dar Williams’ greatest album, 1996’s Mortal City.

That record falls into the rare genre of albums that are close to perfect but for one glaring, horrible misstep. In this case, it’s the title track, a 7-plus minute half-spoken, half-sung short story about a couple that meets during a power failure.

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Song of the Day #1,923: ‘Flinty Kind of Woman’ – Dar Williams

darwilliamsMy third most-read SOTD blog entry is Dar Williams’ ‘When I Was a Boy,’ my 83rd Song of the Day post.

This one owes most of its 1,089 page views to YouTube. I uploaded a copy of the song, along with a link back to my blog, when I couldn’t find it on the site. So fans of Dar Williams, or at least of this song, have stumbled upon my post after finding that video.

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Song of the Day #1,601: ‘When I Was a Boy (Live)’ – Dar Williams

Today’s SOTD is one of my very favorite songs. I’ve already featured it on the blog in its studio form so today I’ve chosen a live version that mirrors the original.

The first three songs I’ve written about this week discussed adolescent romance, adult romance and married life. Today’s song has many meanings but it fits into the narrative I’m going for this week because it focuses on children.

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