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song to the siren

Tim Buckley, Larry Beckett


The band were concerned that Someone Somewhere In Summertime had lost its original spark whilst mixing it for Live In The City Of Light. After seeing Lisa Germano on a late-night American TV show, Jim asked her to overdub a violin onto the recording. During these sessions, the group also jammed Tim Buckleky's Song To The Siren.

"After the live album was released in 1987, we tried to do a Tim Buckley song, 'Song To The Siren'. That was in Woodstock and Lisa Germano was there - the first time we worked with her - and so was Garth Hudson, formally of The Band. We rewrote part of the song and that section started off 'Soul crying out'." - Mick, Street Fighting Years songbook

Two versions were recorded including a vocal and instrumental take.

It was considered for a B-side (possibly for Promised You A Miracle Live) but, feeling the song had more potential, they continued jamming and improvising. It was during these sessions that they started developing the ideas which would lead to Soul Crying Out.

Long afloat on shipless oceans,
I did all my best to smile.
'Til your singing eyes and fingers,
Drew me loving to your isle.
And you sang: "Sail to me, sail to me, let me enfold you.
Here I am, here I am, waiting to hold you."

Did I dream you dreamed about me?
Were you hare when I was fox?
Now my foolish boat is leaning,
Broken lovelorn on your rocks.
For you sing: "Touch me not, touch me not, come back tomorrow,"
"Oh my heart, Oh my heart shines from the sorrow."

I am puzzled as the newborn child,
I am troubed at the tide.
Should I stand amid the breakers?
Should I lie with death my bride?
Hear me sing: "Swim to me, swim to me, let me enfold you."
"Here I am, here I am, waiting to hold you."

Freedom is a priviledge nobody rides for free.
Look around the world baby it cannot be denied,
Why we're always on the wrong side.