Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Footwear: The Other Shoe



Old 97's: The Other Shoe [purchase]

They may be pop stars now, but back in the day the Old 97's were the little alt.country band that could, with a clever spark plug of a frontman in Rhett Miller. I think this stands as one of their best early tunes, a riff of sorts on Jimmy Webb's classic song, "By The Time I Get To Phoenix." In this one, the protagonist lies underneath the bed while his wife and her lover do the deed. This being a country song, I think you can figure out what happens next. Kin to songs like "Hey Joe" and "Miller's Cave," "The Other Shoe" is an example of country music's basic thematic sturdiness. Give us some hurt feelings, a little gunplay, and Old Testament vengeance and we're happy.

One old brown shoe falls in slow motion,
And the bedsprings hover right above your head,
As bedsprings do, when you're beneath them.
Someone else just climbed into your bed.

By the time she thought you'd probably got to Phoenix,
She'd arranged for your shoes to be filled.
Well, you've got your pride, and a blue-steel .45,
And you're waiting for the other shoe to fall.

You'll dig a double grave out in the meadow,
And you'll curse the rain that turns the dirt to mud.
You'll take I-35 south towards Laredo,
Then you'll try to find a doctor who can prescribe an elixir
That'll make everything better, except your late wife and her lover.

By the time she thought you'd probably got to Phoenix,
She'd sealed her fate and gotten herself killed.
Well, you've got your pride, and a blue-steel .45,
And you're waiting for the other shoe to fall.

3 comments:

Divinyl said...

What a beautiful photograph! :o)

paul said...

LD. Glad you posted this one. You did a nice job. I was going to get to it if nobody else did.

All throughout that Old 97's album there are lots of little tips of the hat to other, more famous songs. I remember a couple of Dylan references in addition to the Webb tune you mention.

Whatever year it was that record first came out I played it to death.

LD said...

Wreck Your Life came out in 1995. That doesn't seem like a long time ago, but when you do the math it's 47 years! We were so innocent back then. We thought we could change the world, one alt.country song at a time.