Saturday, 31 July 2010
Photo: SA Steve @ Flickr
Song of the Shrimp is one of the weirder tunes in the Elvis Presley canon but now has an odd poignancy in light of the effect the Gulf Coast oil spill has had on the region's shrimpers.
MP3: Elvis Presley - Song of the Shrimp
Amazon | Find it on Kid Galahad/Girls! Girls! Girls!
Elvis recorded the track for the soundtrack to his 1962 film Girls! Girls! Girls! but I first heard it sung by Frank Black of all people. His 2005 solo album Honeycomb couldn't be further away from the sound of the Pixies and his version is brilliant. Recorded in Nashville with the likes of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham it's a wonderfully laid-back record that also includes covers of Dark End of the Street and Doug Sahm's Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day.
MP3: Frank Black - Song of the Shrimp
Amazon | Find it on Honeycomb
In interviews promoting Honeycomb Frank Black claimed he'd never heard the Elvis version and was instead inspired by Townes Van Zandt's cover on Live at McCabe's. He told Barney Hoskyns in Uncut, "He just barely plays the song, he just hits a chord and sings a line and cracks up, hits another chord, makes a joke... it’s a really deconstructed but very entertaining version, and that was my reference point." That's an accurate description.
MP3: Townes Van Zandt - Song of the Shrimp
Amazon | Find it on Live at McCabe's
Any other suggestions of fine seafood related songs? It's a shame not many things rhyme with whelk.