Friday, May 12, 2017

McQ's #63 Song Of 1967 - ONCE I WAS - Tim Buckley

Coming in at #63 in our 1967 song countdown, a gorgeous, elegiac track that still cuts me to the core, Tim Buckley's  Once I Was.

Part of a strong collection of stylistically adventurous, poetic songs that made up Buckley's second album, the minor psychedelic standard Goodbye And Hello, Once I Was was in some ways one of the album's most conventional songs, an almost traditional folk ballad.

But thanks to Buckley's stirring vocal performance, especially on the song's stunning, almost overwhelming final verse, Once I Was became not only a fan favorite and one of the era's iconic anti-war anthems ( it was used to moving effect to open the 1987 documentary Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam), but years later the song also helped launch the stalled solo career of Buckley's estranged son Jeff, whose 1991 acoustic peformance of the song in Brooklyn's St. Ann's Church to close a tribute concert for the father he never knew, the last moments of the song done accapella after a guitar string broke, earned Jeff amazing reviews and has since become the stuff of New York concert legend.

Here's Tim's original version as it was used in Dear America, and then a rough audio recording of Jeff's St. Anns performance.

No comments: