Jesse Jarnow

“blue bayou” – roy orbison

“Blue Bayou” – Roy Orbison (download) (buy)
from Mean Woman Blues 7-inch (1963)
released by Monument Records

(files expires June 5th)

Along with Depression-era standard “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou” is a semi-secular utopia fantasia. It is a most pleasant subgenre, which also includes Bob Dylan’s “Beyond the Horizon” and countless others. Just as the opening shot of “Big Rock” is lit by “the jungle fires… burning” in a hobo shantytown, “Blue Bayou” begins under the spotlight of any ol’ C&W bar. “I’m so lonesome all the time,” Orbison croons over a plain kickdrum heartbeat before the cooing back-up singers, lazy harmonica, and an airy clavichord (?) transport the listener to a more pastoral scene, a place “where you sleep all day and the catfish play.” Who doesn’t like a good utopia now & again? It really works. Hope everyone got good and lost in their own blue bayous over the long weekend.


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