Me and Bobby McGee

from by Allison Crowe

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Canadian musician Allison Crowe performs live in concert "Me and Bobby McGee", the Fred Foster, Kris Kristofferson song recorded most famously, iconically, by Janis Joplin.

music.allisoncrowe.com/track/me-and-bobby-mcgee (on "Live at Wood Hall")

"Allison Crowe is the best thing to happen to 'Me And Bobby McGee' since Janis Joplin changed Kristofferson's lyrics," says Allan Showalter of "Cohencentric" blog (cohencentric.com), noted as “arguably the greatest living (Leonard) Cohen expert”.

Showalter explains: "Of course, the credentials that matter most are her performances. If you haven't heard her powerful yet not strident version of 'Hallelujah'... I urge you to do so now. Then, for something completely different, listen to her take on Ronnie Shannon's 'I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)', which is (forgive me, Aretha) the best I've heard.

" 'Me and Bobby McGee,' the song authored by Kris Kristofferson and popularized by Janis Joplin (although Roger Miller's version was the first to rank as a hit), is not one of my favorites, but it is useful as an example of Allison Crowe's skills, in part because most readers of this blog have, I suspect, heard it sung by at least a couple of performers.

"Also noteworthy, however, is the choice of this song itself. If Allison had asked me to select 100 possible covers for her to play in a concert, a real concert with a fancy piano set in the converted church chapel of the Conservatory of Music in Victoria, British Columbia, a concert that would become the album, Allison Crowe Live At Wood Hall (with album art... radiating dangerous levels of wholesomeness), 'Me and Bobby McGee would not have been on my list. Nor would it have been on my Possible Allison Crowe Covers #101-200″ list, nor the #201 to 300″ list. Me and Bobby McGee is a Kristofferson-Joplin-Miller kind of song. Kenny Rogers, when he was still the Kenny Rogers in Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, sang it, as did Gordon Lightfoot, Bill Haley & His Comets, Sam The Sham, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. Waylon sang it. So did The Grateful Dead and Dolly Parton. It is definitely not an Allison Crowe kind of song.

"Until she sings it.

"Although Allison introduces over a dozen significant adaptations to 'Me and Bobby McGee,' I'll point out only one nuance. Listen to her inflected pronunciation of 'Baton Rouge' in the first line, 'Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin' for a train.' It makes this version of the song her own from that point, giving the song a richer, more complex flavor than those rendered in flat Midwestern intonations. Yet, performed the same way by almost anyone else, the same tactic would come off as too precious by half."

Images are from Billie Woods, ( www.billiewoods.com ), the terrifically talented photographer who regularly tours Europe with Crowe. These pics are from such locations as Frankfurt and Siegen, Germany and Durness, Scotland where Allison Crowe headlined the 'Northern Lights Festival', a benefit for the John Lennon Memorial Garden.

lyrics

Me and Bobby McGee

Words & Music by Fred Foster & Kris Kristofferson
As performed by Allison Crowe

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin' for a train
An' I's feeling nearly as faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained
I headed all the way to New Orleans

I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana
I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues, Lord
Windshield wipers slapping time, I was holding Bobby's hand in mine
We sang every song the driver knew

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose
Ah, nothing, honey if it ain't free, Lord

Feeling good was easy, Lord,
when he sang the blues
Feeling good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

From the Kentucky coal mines to the California sun
Yeah, Bobby shared the secrets of my soul
Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done
Yeah, Bobby baby kept me from the cold

I pulled up near Salinas, Lord, I let him slip away
He's lookin' for that home, and I hope he finds it
Well, I'd trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday
To be holdin' Bobby's body next to mine

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose
Ah, nothing, well that's all that Bobby left me, Lord

Feeling good was easy, Lord
when he sang the blues
Feeling good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

La de di, la de di da, la de di de di di da, la di da, la de di da Bobby
McGee

La da da la da da da, la da la la la da la La da da la la la da da Bobby
McGee

La da la la la, la da la la la da la La da da la d da hey, hey, I said my Bobby
McGee, Lord

Lo do da la da da da, lo da la la la da la La da da la la la hey, hey, hey, I said my Bobby
McGee, oh yeah

I said I called him my lover, called him my man, I said called him my lover
do the best I can, yeah, c'mon Bobby, now, c'mon Bobby McGee, Lord, Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, Lord, hey, hey, hey, yeah, I said my Bobby McGee, yeah

La da da la da da da, la da la la la da la La da da la la la da da

Hey hey I said Bobby McGee Lord

Lord lordy, lordy lordy lord oh Lord

Hey, hey, hey, I said my Bobby McGee, Lord

credits

from Songbook, released March 17, 2014

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Allison Crowe Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador

"Why music?" "Why breathing?"

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