Song for Django

from by Ira Marlowe

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about

I fell in love with Django the first time I heard him, when someone gave me a "Quintet of the Hot Club" record when I was just 18. But this song is not so much about Django's music as his spirit--his ability to remain wildly creative and stubbornly childlike in a world that does all it can to strip us of that innocence and magic. Django's gypsy caravan caught fire when he was only eighteen; his left hand was left mangled and partially paralyzed. And yet, from these severe limitations, he crafted a style and technique that many say has never been equaled. There's a great short story by Joseph Brodky called. "First Love and Other Sorrows", which delves into the ways we're affected by the experience of beauty -- how it lifts us to new heights and at the same time somehow saddens us, with the realization of how much of our experience pales in the face of those rare instances of perfection. This is what I tried to capture in this song. I hope you like it.

NOTE: This is the first in this series of weekly songs that was NOT written and during that week. I have several new songs in the hopper, but they don't feel ready, so instead I made this new recording -- of one on my favorite songs written in 2015

lyrics

SONG FOR DJANGO

Django was amazing
when he showed up for the gig
Just before the downbeat
he'd come waltzing in
Cigarette dangling
as his fingers made their way
up and down the Champs Elysee

Took you 'round the world
broke your heart and stole your girl
sang a song nobody else could sing
And all you had before
you don't need it anymore
All you need is just one perfect thing

Django had a monkey
no place they wouldn't go
Hotels didn't like it
but it was Django
One of the wise ones
who knew the only goal:
to walk out of the fire with your soul

Took you 'round the world
broke your heart and stole your girl
Left you with the sorrows of a king
And everything you knew
and all you thought was true
You'd trade it all for just one perfect thing
Trade it all for just one perfect thing

Ah... and you never see it coming
Ah... but you always see it go
I wish... I didn't know

Django was amazing
when he showed up for the gig
Just before the downbeat
he'd come waltzing in

credits

from Songs of the Week (vol. 1), released February 19, 2016
Ira Marlowe: vocal, guitars, bass, piano, programming
Lila Sklar: electric violin
Leslie Jackson: background vocals

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Ira Marlowe Berkeley, California

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