tremble clef

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Samantha Jones, "Do I Still Figure In Your Life" (1969)

Few things please me more than a good and unusual figure of speech in a pop song, especially if it also forms the title. "Do I still figure in your life?" is so much more interesting a query than, say, "Am I still a part of your world?" "Figure" is wonderfully delicate as a verb. Even if the answer turns out to be "yes," the vagueness of "figure" suggests that the partners still have work to tease out exactly what role she will play. She's a figure in his life, but what kind of figure will it be, precisely?

But good turns of phrases can turn bad. Here, the question stands alone when it first occurs at the end of the first verse. When it recurs at the end of the second, however, it is preceded by the line, "To think that you once took me for your wife." Much less pleasing: the diction seems awkward -- does anyone, after all, say "take me as your wife" unless she is in a Jane Austen novel? -- and it's in contrast not an awkwardness that can be passed off as the result of anxiety, nervousness, uncertainty on the singer's part.

Oh well. We can still enjoy the instantly captivating drums that kickstart the song, as well as some very emotive singing by Samantha Jones -- not of Sex and the City fame -- on this cover of a song originally by The Honeybus, found on Dreambabes Vol 6: Sassy and Stonefree.


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