My dad introduced me to Dave Van Ronk on our recent trip to New Orleans. After spending our evenings in the local bar listening to bands, eating Boudin balls, and drinking Abita beers, we would sit out on the patio behind the apartment we were staying at in the Marigny district, and my dad would tell us what songs to look up on YouTube. The two songs of Dave Van Ronk that we listened to bewitched me.
First up is Dave Van Ronk’s hilarious version of “Cocaine,” which had me rolling over laughing. Highlights include:
“Went to bed last night singing a song, woke up this morning….my nose was gone.”
“All my mucous membrane is just a memory. Sometimes I think that coke is bad for me.”
“Cocaine is four horses and not four men. Tell me it will kill me, but they won’t say when.”
Then, we listened to his haunting version of “Both Sides Now.” According to Wikipedia, Joni Mitchell, who wrote the song, says that his rendition “was the finest ever” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Van_Ronk). Listening to this song transports me to an especially beautiful sad place.