“Song to the Siren” by Tim Buckley (1967)

7 10 2008

Tim Buckley was a folk singer who made some incredible records, turning folk music inward, rather that outward to the issues of the day.  He had a hard life, dealing with drug addiction and probably some personal demons (very common with very talented people).

“Song to the Siren” is simply one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.

He is the father of Jeff Buckley (see post below), and like his son, he died young (in 1975, at the age of 28, two years younger than Jeff when he passed away).   Truly sad, and a great loss for the rest of the world.

But I’m thinking that there is a great amphitheater somewhere, and Tim and his boy are jamming some divine 12-bar blues, trading verses about their lives, and sharing their joys and missteps.  Admission and beer are free, every seat in the house is a winner, and it only stops when everyone’s had their fill.


I first heard this song as a cover from the band This Mortal Coil, a kind of supergroup on the 4AD record label, a company that was known for backing musicians of high artistic quality but maybe not as much commercial potential.  Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins (another favorite band of mine) sang the song in this version.  I love this track.  Even though it’s presented differently, the strong, simple beauty of the original song shines through.




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