Country Rock

I’ll kiss you for each leaf on every tree

In between 1996’s ‘Being There’ and 1999’s ‘Summerteeth’, Wilco sat down with Billy Bragg and a bunch of Woody Guthrie lyrics to write and record 1998’s “Mermaid Avenue”. The album is a journey through Guthrie’s wildly imaginative, erotic and brilliant words, and the superb musicianship of Bragg and the boys from Wilco.

One of my favorites on the album is “Hesitating Beauty”. It’s an uplifting plea to Nora Lee, the object of the singer’s desires….

For your sparkling cocky smile I’ve walked a million miles
Begging you to come and wed me in the spring
Why do you my dear delay
What makes you laugh and turn away
You’re a hesitating beauty, Nora Lee

Well I know that you are itching to get married, Nora Lee
And I know how I’m twitching for the same thing, Nora Lee
By the stars and clouds above we could spend our lives in love
You’re a hesitating beauty, Nora Lee

We can build a house and home where the flowers come to bloom
Around our yard I’ll nail a fence so high
That the boys with peeping eyes cannot see that angel face
My hesitating beauty Nora Lee

Well I know that you are itching to get married Nora Lee
And I know how I’m twitching for the same thing Nora Lee
By the stars and clouds above we can spend our lives in love
If you quit your hesitating, Nora Lee

We can ramble hand in hand across the grasses of our land
I’ll kiss you for each leaf on every tree
We can bring our kids to play where the dry leaves blow today
If you quit your hesitating, Nora Lee

Well I know that you are itching to get married, Nora Lee
And I know how I’m twitching for the same thing, Nora Lee
By the stars and clouds above we could spend our lives in love
If you quit your hesitating, Nora Lee

If anyone out there has Bright Eyes’ latest album, ‘I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning’, listen to the similarities between “At the Bottom of Everything” (track 1) and Wilco’s “Hesitating Beauty”.

Wilco – Hesitating Beauty (mp3, live, unknown date and location)

Do yourself a favor and buy Mermaid Avenue.

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