Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

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Patti
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Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby Patti » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:56 am

I think this song is a great example of where one word, the right word can set the song so well. You get that impression right from the title of the song.. Rose Tattoo. Roses are one of the most associated images of love and tattoos are forever...

In the first line, It's Monday, most people are heading into work for the first day of the work and this guy is heading/calling home. To his "typical " American family, 2 kids a house giving them the bad news.

We know they have a no frills existence, pasta and Walmart kind of life, I take this poor mans laughing line as a bit of a " welcome to my world" kind of sentiment. This is the way they are already living before the lay off. The line "drifting in a sea of blue" rhymes with the previous line but the thought occurred to me that Ellis imagines they are drowning in debt. They probably have a stack of bills on the window sill too!

I've notice Ellis has used words like windows, windowsills, front porch, porch light etc. a few times in recent songs, really portraying house/home life..a reflection of his own life as much as what so many people relate to. (I think the word window sill is in three different songs on this CD!! :)

Then it is music to the rescue!!. She puts on Van Morrison's music. It is such perfect choice, as Van has written so many great soothing love songs. Love is what matters most and as long as they have each they can handle anything. Listen to some music together and things won't seem so bad

I know Ellis has led workshops before in which he uses Eighteen as an example of how to learn more about the characters he is thinking of and what details he is going to include in a song. List 5 things in the room, what are they wearing.. etc.. I think this song can easily be used in the same way. I hope this song spins a sequel, I really want to see things turn around for the better for this couple!!

Another song that is so topical..

ROSE TATTOO

I got laid off, it's Monday
and I'm calling to tell you
It don't sit with me well
I feel like I failed you
You say, "We got each other,
and that's plenty enough..."
and I know that's true

But we've got one kid coming
and one still in diapers
It's a rainy drive home
with one good wiper
leave the porchlight on,
I need a beacon
just to pull me to you

If I ever lost you
I would be lost too
Just drifting in a sea of blue
You're in my skin
like a rose tattoo,
like a rose tattoo

The economy's crashing
and this poor boy's laughing
cause there's nothing to lose
We don't live in no mansion
There's no bling to put on
only WalMart fashion will do

Inside the house the baby's screaming
and the pasta is steaming and
I look through the windows
It feels like I'm dreaming
You pull the door open and say
"Daddy, when you comin' home?"

You say, "We'll fight for the best case scenario"
Then you put Van Morrison on the stereo
Sure there's trouble in the boardrooms
Trouble in the factories
Trouble in the alley out back
But we've got love in these patterns
Love is what matters
and baby, I've got your back
I've got your back
I've got your back
Hey, I've got your back
"Embrace what you have in common, celebrate what sets you apart" Ellis Paul

monicar
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Re: Rose Tattoo Jan. 25, 2010

Postby monicar » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:04 am

So agree with your "welcome to my world" sentiment. I can very much relate to this song, without anyone being laid off (knock on wood).

It makes me put things into perspective and look at the big picture. Struggling to make ends meet isn't the worst thing in the world. We have our health, a home, 2 great kids and there are so many people out there in much worse shape than we are!

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger!!!

And, I still want to get a Rose Tattoo in honor of this tune!

Thanks, Patti!!!

Monica R.

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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:54 am

Verse 1:
Bad enough he just lost lost his job...it's Monday, too.
I'm a loser he thinks. She assures he is not.

Verse 2:
Love the double entendre here.
He's driving a clunker.
One good wiper. He's thinkin he's not a good dad.
He could just keep drivin....

Chorus:
Realizes the loss of the job is one thing...
Just drifting in a Sea of Blue says it all
Lighthouse beacon offers hope to those adrift.


Verse 3:
Tv is filled with stocks plummeting, housing bust.
He's immune.


Verse 4:
He's unable to go in...
Can't believe his bad fortune...
His child sees him in the driveway....


Verse 5:
all you need is love
tv pundits talk about patterns (cycles, corrections)
the economy goes thru them
it'll all be okay again, someday
we'll rebound

nothing sooths quite like music...
except, of course, love
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Sue Ellen
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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby Sue Ellen » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:45 pm

But for the grace of god, or the direction of the winds of fate, however one wishes to phrase it...we are all vulnerable to the vicissitudes of politics, the economy, the environment, as this song so poignantly illustrates. It reminds me to be careful to not fall into what is referred to as the fundamental attribution error: when bad things happen to us, we tend to attribute it to the environment; when bad things happen to others we tend to attribute it to their individual traits.

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:02 pm

Mondays come and Mondays go,
But this one seems to be sort of slow.
Can you tell me sir, when will there come a change?



:P
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

Patti
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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby Patti » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:54 am

You know Paddy that might be one of my favorite EP songs.... so much so I am going to start yelling out for it the next time I see him live.. I'll even print the lyrics and the chords so they'll be no excuse!!

Another favorite and favortie youtube version linked below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7wdCgyVi9M

Rose Tattoo with Joe Wilson on slide guitar... I LOVE this version... though after hearing Ellis performing it live a few times now.. I like that he used harmonica..
"Embrace what you have in common, celebrate what sets you apart" Ellis Paul

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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby paddyinthepub » Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:00 am

Warms my Midnight Strikes too Soon heart to see Ellis with a harmonica around his neck again after far too long a dry spell -- pun intended! :P
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Sue Ellen
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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby Sue Ellen » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:58 pm

Paddy:
Warms my Midnight Strikes too Soon heart


I haven't gone back to compare, but I might say this song warms my Maria's Beautiful Mess heart when I hear the opening guitar...I don't even know how you would descibe that combination of playing and percussing.

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

Patti
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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby Patti » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:26 pm

I hope it is okay to "post" someone elses comments but these are few of the comments under the youtube link I posted. I think I have to agree :mrgreen:


This tune has everything that most music is missing today. Man this stirs the spirit.

If Ellis' music was the last thing I heard before I died, I'd die happy...

This video was shot in Dec. 2008... I notice Ellis has changed the first line just a bit.. " got laid off its monday" or "got laid of on monday " wonder if it just happened or if he made a conscious effort for some reason..
"Embrace what you have in common, celebrate what sets you apart" Ellis Paul

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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby KarenZ » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:36 am

Hey, I'm enjoying all your comments. :)

I'm a sucker for vocals and acoustic guitar.....so "Rose Tattoo" is right up my alley. (Not necessarily the alley out back, though.) ;)

I love how the acoustic guitar is front and center at the beginning and again at the end. As the other instruments gradually come into the mix - (you have to listen carefully to hear the bass, accordion, drums) - they are subtlely supportive without overshadowing the vocals. And I agree that it's nice to hear the harmonica. Kinda stamps it as a folk song, doesn't it? :) And Annie Clements harmony vocals - particularly on the bridge - are sweet. Love to sing the harmony line with her. :)

Also love the imagery of the porch light as a beacon in the night....

Another simply great song. 8)

KarenZ
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see." -- Ann Patchett in Bel Canto.

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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby paddyinthepub » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:13 pm

Patti, it's a subtle change in lyric and one that works better overall. I got laid off on Monday would convey that days had passed before he broke the news to the family. I guess that works on another level, too. I got laid off it's Monday and I'm calling to tell ya it don't sit with me well could be that he's leaving a voice mail (on Monday) after losing his job some time last week? Maybe Friday? It's just like Ellis to show but not tell. What this tells me is that the guy lost his job, felt like a failure, and couldn't face his wife and family. He's so down on his luck that he's thinking oh what's the use? Maybe they (the wife and kids) are better off without him? He went AWOL is my guess. I need a beacon just to pull me (back) to you. While gone, he likely went on a bender. Maybe even thought about his worth as a human being and contemplated taking his own life. He's been drifting in a sea of blue. He comes to the realization that the loss of his job is not necessarily the end of the world for him. The loss of his family would be. He returns to find the everyday normalcy of his real life, outside of his work life, which he also measured his worth by. He looks through the window to see it. James Stewart in the classic film It's a Wonderful Life comes to mind for me as I type this. My guess is that Ellis might have had that imagery tucked away somewhere in the back of his creative mind only to have it come back around when writing Rose Tattoo. Show but don't tell. That's why I love the music of Ellis Paul. It seems so cut and dry sometimes, but when ya sit with it awhile, move on, return, and think about it some more, new layers of storyline and message reveal themselves to those who take the time to allow such things. I'll also add that if not for this discussion I might not ever reach the kind of appreciation I can if I were to just listen and move on. I'd think good song, Ellis Paul, but here, where words are better when they're written down, fall to the page with no sound.... :wink:
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby Patti » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:14 am

It seems so cut and dry sometimes, but when ya sit with it awhile, move on, return, and think about it some more, new layers of storyline and message reveal themselves to those who take the time to allow such things. I'll also add that if not for this discussion I might not ever reach the kind of appreciation I can if I were to just listen and move on.


Paddy this is exactly true... I'm glad you point out what else may have been going on, more details than are actually put to lyrics. Like I said I'ld like to see a sequel to this song.. maybe after the State of the Union address last night, Ellis is working on it already... :wink:
"Embrace what you have in common, celebrate what sets you apart" Ellis Paul

Richard + Jela
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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby Richard + Jela » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:20 am

Rose Tattoo is in my top three favourites from the new CD and I'm really enjoying reading everyone's insightful comments about the song.

One of the reasons I like it so much is because it sees EP venture into social commentary - the recession, losing a job, the importance of family especially when times are tough.

I'm sure that it resonates with so many because even if we personally may not have lost a job, we know someone who has (and in my case, certainly more than one person) and can empathise with the guy in the song. In years to come, it will be held up as a song that really reflected the times many went through in 2009.

I loved the YouTube video where Joe Wilson played lap steel on Rose Tattoo during a live performance and must admit that I really hoped that the CD would feature the same instrument. It doesn't but the CD version is beautifully arranged anyway.

Such strong imagery in the song; you just want to pull for the family and hope (know?) that with each other's support they will come out ok.

Jela

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Sue Ellen
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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby Sue Ellen » Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:09 am

Paddy, I really liked your analysis of the first few lines. I took those so literally, and I very much appreciate your insights and reflections. No wonder I've been avoiding putting up the next song.

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby anneclem » Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:04 am

KarenZ! Just wanted to say thanks for your kind words about my singing on Rose Tattoo. What an awesome song. My favorite lines are:

Inside the house the baby's screaming
and the pasta is steaming and
I look through the windows
It feels like I'm dreaming

I just love that imagery. (Plus I love pasta. :) ) I can see it all so clearly. It was such a joy for me to sing with Ellis and I hope to do it again in the near future! Thanks for all the support for the new record. I think it's fantastic!

-Annie

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KarenZ
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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby KarenZ » Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:37 am

Annie,

What a treat to find your post this morning! :-) Thanks so much for chiming in with your comments about the song/recording experience. You've really made the Song of the Week special. 8)

Too funny. When you registered for the board as "annieclem" - and before I saw your e-mail address - I was thinking the board had attracted Mike Clem's mother. :lol:

KarenZ
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see." -- Ann Patchett in Bel Canto.

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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby Richard + Jela » Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:08 am

Annie - I also thought that you were related to Mike Clem when I saw your post but hadn't read through to your actual name.

Love, love Rose Tattoo.


Jela

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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby anneclem » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:05 pm

No relation to Mike! (My dad is the great Cranston Clements - Bozz Scaggs, the Neville Bros., Dr. John, etc...) It's such a small world. When I was at Berklee, I actually opened one of Ellis' famed New Year's Eve shows at Club Passim with Laura Distasi. Little did I know that I'd have an opportunity to sing on one of his records a few years down the road!

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Re: Song of the week - Rose Tattoo - Jan. 25, 2010

Postby KarenZ » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:16 pm

Oooohhh......this is gonna make some great future trivia. :-)

KarenZ

anneclem wrote:No relation to Mike! (My dad is the great Cranston Clements - Bozz Scaggs, the Neville Bros., Dr. John, etc...) It's such a small world. When I was at Berklee, I actually opened one of Ellis' famed New Year's Eve shows at Club Passim with Laura Distasi. Little did I know that I'd have an opportunity to sing on one of his records a few years down the road!
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see." -- Ann Patchett in Bel Canto.


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