Billy Bragg: “St Swithin’s Day”

Posted: January 2, 2014 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , ,
Tune du Jour: “St Swithin’s Day” – Billy Bragg
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Ben Gibbard vs. Mary Lou Lord
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)


Broccoli Fields Forever ...

Broccoli, You’re My Reason To Get Out Of Bed Before Noon …

“It first dawned on Bragg that he was capable of writing such a song in the early 1980s. ‘I played “St Swithin’s Day” to the woman I was living with at the time, and she just burst into tears,’ he recalls. ‘I thought, “OK, that seems to have done the trick.” Because before that, having been a punk rocker, there were other ideas I was trying to get across, there were other feelings I was trying to get out of people.’” – Billy Bragg


The Original


Billy Bragg:


THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Ben Gibbard vs. Mary Lou Lord


Ben Gibbard:

Mary Lou Lord:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

Also, keep in mind that if you should spontaneously self-actualize while playing a cover then you could – and probably should – nominate it for Top 10 (i.e. “Impeccable”) consideration.



Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Cuspid says:

    Gobbard’s vocals make him sound bored with the song right from the start. Lord’s vocals are much better. Seems like both of them could have done musically other than just play on acoustic guitar what the Braggster plays on electric. What? Me First and the Gimme Gimmes don’t have a cover of this?!

  2. Arnie Plotnick says:

    As usual, I agree with that smartass, Cuspid. Gibbard delivers a serviceable version. Nothing stellar. Lord’s version is a bit nicer. I like her voice. Reminds me a bit of Hope Sandoval’s voice (from Mazzy Star). Certainly starting the new year in a mellow fashion, Dubbs.

  3. Kerry Black says:

    This would ordinarily be a tossup.

    I’m voting for Ben Gibbard partly because his 2009 collaboration with Jay Farrar (One Fast Move or I’m Gone) is one of my favorite discs of the 21st century.

    Also Mary Lou badly mispronounced “Agincourt”. You don’t need to be a history buff, just take two seconds to look up an unfamiliar word.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s