Margo Guryan

My work kept me up until 3 a.m., so today I’m working from home, with the grey skies outside and the sound of rain gurgling through the trees making me feel even groggier than I would be anyway.

I happened to notice that Margo Guryan had posted a new song to her MySpace page–well, not a “new” song, but one new to me.  It’s a Christmas song about love and breakups called “I Don’t Intend,” and it’s doing me well on such a winter’s day.

 Margo Guryan was a fantastic songwriter in the sixties who composed songs performed by Glen Campbell, Mama Cass, Julie London, and Oliver, among others.  She had a great album featuring herself on vocals called Take a Picture, released in 1968 to not much fanfare (probably because she never toured), which got re-released on CD a bunch of years back.  It’s a one-woman sunshine pop album, with much the same light, funkiness, and phrasing as on the Free Design‘s albums, but with a somehow worldly innocence, and frank words of romantic love.  And oh, those Family-Stone-esque drums and keyboards!  It’s an album that on most tracks celebrates the won-won-wonderful elation that comes from a committed love.  There’s a certain bustle, a certain energy in those tender moments having coffee on Sunday mornings or giggling in the park together with your man or woman, something that’s different from the excitement of a new flirtation but which can be even more exhilirating, and Guryan’s music captures it perfectly.  There’s at least three songs on it that always make me think of my own wonderful relationship with my gal-pal, and it’s always a great CD to play on a morning’s drive.  Plus the last track is psychedelic as all hell!

Anyhoo, what’s even cooler about Margo Guryan is that after disappearing for about three decades, she came out and made a crazily good song blasting George Bush using just his own words, called “16 Words.”  The production isn’t quite as good as that late 60’s stuff (it sounds a little They Might Be Giants in places), and her voice sounds a little more world-weary than it did when she was a young woman, but damn, it’s a catchy tune.  Listen once, and you’ll have Bush’s lies about Nigerian uranium stuck in your head all day! 

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