California Love #2: Billy Bragg & Wilco > California Stars

California Stars comes to us from Billy Bragg & Wilco, by way of Woody Guthrie. The story goes like this; Woody had left behind something like a thousand songs, just lyrics without music. His daughter had approached Billy Bragg and asked him to pick out some of the songs and set them to music. Bragg then asked Wilco to join him. The resulting album was the excellent Mermaid Avenue, which is named after one of Woody's songs and also the name of the street in Coney Island, where Guthrie had lived.

The song, to me, is just about the peacefulness of being outside. Maybe he's hiking across the state and sleeping outdoors at night, dreaming of someone he loves, wishing she were there. It just feels like a really nice sentiment, to me, especially the line:

So, I'd give this world
Just to dream a dream with you
On our bed of California Stars

Pick up the album if you're even half interested, it's very much worth it.

Billy Bragg & Wilco > California Stars


Stef said...

Wow, I didn't know that album even existed. Sounds really good, Guthrie was such a gifted song-writer.

Will check it out if I can find it!

Stef said...

Oh yeah, meant to say. I never expected Billy Bragg to turn up in your 'songs about California' thing!

robot_hero said...

love billy bragg, he is the man.

jennifer said...

Hey, that was ok! Does Billy Bragg ever sing lead on these collaborations, though?

robot_hero said...

yap, the album is about half half.