So, you guys remember that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine dated a guy who absolutely enamored with the song "Desperado" by The Eagles? He'd make everyone stop talking and sit in reverence until it was over. I love that episode, for many reasons, but I especially love the part where Elaine tries to come up with a song that she felt that strongly about. She chose The Eagles' "Witchy Woman," which is an awesome song, but he looked at her like she was crazy for feeling so strongly about this song.
Everyone has these songs, though. Songs that you will always, always stop for on the radio. Songs that you will never ever skip when they come up on your iPod. Songs that get an automatic five-star rating on iTunes, or an automatic thumbs-up when your Pandora stations are brilliant enough to play them. Thus, we begin a new feature here at Daily Word Allotment: highlighting songs that deserve the reverence that Elaine's boyfriend paid to Desperado. (This was just going to be one post, but then I decided it was more fun to break them up, and also easier to reference later if necessary.)
So, our first Desperado song - James Taylor's "Sweet Baby James." You're all surprised that I'm not leading off with a Billy Joel song, aren't you? Well, too bad. This song makes me happy. Every form of it, every lyric of it, the entire melody, and the way that my Pandora stations have all been trained to play every version of it that there is.
I've loved the song for years, but my love was further cemented when Jay Leno had Taylor as a musical guest on his last episode hosting The Tonight Show. Well, the first last episode - had I known then what I know now about that whole fiasco, I would've been a lot less sentimental about it. But I was sure when Leno said Taylor was there, he'd come out and play "You've Got A Friend" or something sappy like that. But he didn't, he played Sweet Baby James, and Leno said he had specifically requested it because it was on the radio a lot the year he moved out to LA and reminded him of that time in his life. So not only did he pick an awesome song, he had a good story about why he liked it. (Too bad he turned out to be a jerk to Conan, which is grounds for immediate and complete shunning in my book.)
I wish I could find a video of him performing it on The Tonight Show for you, but alas, in all the wide reaches of the internets, I have had no luck. So instead, I give you this lovely old live performance to enjoy.