This week Jim Adams has given us some Halloween prompts for Song Lyric Sunday. They are Ghost, Pumpkin, Trick, Treat and Witch. I have gone with a couple of my favorites, “Witchy Woman” by the Eagles and “One Trick Pony” by Paul Simon. I like both of these songs very much and couldn’t decide with one to go with. In all likelihood both songs could be chosen multiple times! We will have to see.
Eagles guitarist Bernie Leadon started writing this song when he was a member of The Flying Burrito Brothers. Once Bernie joined the Eagles, he and Don Henley finished the song in Eagles fashion. It was one of the first songs Henley wrote.
Leadon and Henley wrote this about a number of women they had met. It is not meant to portray the woman as devilish, but as more of a seductress.
“The Eagles” was the group’s first album. It was produced by Glyn Johns, an Englishman who had previously worked with The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. They recorded it at Olympic Studios in London in just three weeks; the group became far less efficient over time – their 1979 album The Long Run took more than two years to make.
According to the liner notes for “The Very Best of the Eagles”, the song originated with guitarist Bernie Leadon playing a “strange, minor-key riff that sounded sort of like a Hollywood movie version of Indian music.” The song’s lyrics didn’t develop until Henley went down with a flu and high fever while he was reading a book about Zelda Fitzgerald. “I think that figured into the mix somehow – along with amorphous images of girls I had met at the Whisky and the Troubadour,” he recalled.
Lyrics Raven hair and ruby lips Sparks fly from her fingertips Echoed voices in the night She's a restless spirit on an endless flight Woo hoo, witchy woman See how high she flies Woo hoo, witchy woman She got the moon in her eye She held me spellbound in the night Dancing shadows and firelight Crazy laughter in another room And she drove herself to madness with a silver spoon Woo hoo, witchy woman See how high she flies Woo hoo, witchy woman She got the moon in her eye Well, I know you want a lover Let me tell you, brother She's been sleeping in the devil's bed And there's some rumours going round, someone's underground She can rock you in the night-time 'til your skin turns red Woo hoo, witchy woman See how high she flies Woo hoo, witchy woman She got the moon in her eye Writer/s: Don Henley, Bernie Leadon Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc., Cass County Music/Wisteria Music/Privet Music, Universal Music Publishing Group Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
The song was on the album One-Trick Pony, Paul Simon’s fifth solo studio album, was released in 1980. It was Simon’s first album for Warner Brothers’ Records, and his first new studio album since 1975’s Still Crazy After All These Years. His back catalog from Columbia Records would also move to Warner Bros. as a result of his signing with the label.
The album was released concurrently with the film of the same name, in which Simon also starred. Despite their similarities, the album and film are musically distinct: each features different versions of the same songs, as well as certain songs that appear exclusively on either the film or the album. The album is best known for the Grammy-nominated track “Late In The Evening” which was a hit for Simon in 1980, peaking at No. 6 in the United States. The title track was also released as a single and became a U.S. Top 40 hit. Both songs were also Top 20 hits on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart. Two of the tracks (the title song and “Ace in the Hole”) were recorded live at the Agora Theater and Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio in September 1979. The rest are studio cuts.
Several session musicians appearing on the album also appeared in the movie as the character Jonah’s backing band: Eric Gale on lead guitar, Richard Tee on piano, Ronny Levin on bass, and Steve Gadd on drums. Simon toured Europe and America in 1980 with this band in support of the album, with one concert from Philadelphia recorded on video and released on VHS under the title “Paul Simon In Concert”, then subsequently on DVD under 2 different titles for the same concert footage (“Live at the Tower Theatre” and “Live from Philadelphia”).
In 2004, One-Trick Pony was remastered and re-released by Warner Bros. Records. This reissue contains four bonus tracks, including “Soft Parachutes” and “Spiral Highway” (an early version of “How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns”) both of which were featured in the film but were missing from the original album release. Also included in the re-release were the outtake of “All Because of You” (an early version of “Oh Marion” that would also spawn “God Bless the Absentee”) and “Stranded in a Limousine”, which originally appeared on the 1977 compilation Greatest Hits, Etc.
Lyrics He's a one-trick pony One trick is all that horse can do He does, one trick only It's the principal source of his revenue But when he steps into the spotlight You can feel the heat of his heart Come rising through See how he dances See how he loops from side to side See how he prances The way his hooves just seem to glide He's just a one-trick pony, that's all he is, But he turn that trick with pride He makes it Look so easy, it looks so clean He moves like God's immaculate machine He makes me Think about, all these extra moves I've made And all this herky-jerky motion And the bag of tricks it takes To get me through my working day One-trick pony He's a one-trick pony He either fails or he succeeds He gives his, testimony Then he relaxes in the weeds He's got one trick to last a lifetime But that's all a pony needs UYeah, that's all he needs Looks so easy, it looks so clean He moves like God's immaculate machine He makes me Think about, all these extra moves I make And all this herky-jerky motion And the bag of tricks it takes To get me through my working day One-trick pony One-trick pony One-trick pony One-trick pony One-trick pony Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Paul Simon One Trick Pony ('Live') lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group