Saturday, May 10, 2003

When the world falls apart, some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs' tears fall down his face

Billy Bragg's had quite a career, but his singular masterpiece, "Levi Stubbs' Tears," boils it all down so expertly. Musically, the song's a wonder of economy, just one guitar, a set of bongos, and Bragg's voice. [A lone trumpet's added in the outro.] Lyrically, "Tears" hits hard, very hard, but simply, Bragg's pronounced English accent somehow adding to the loneliness of his subject matter.

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