Phoebe Snow

Dead at age 60, on Tuesday, singer-songwriter Phoebe Snow (Wikipedia page here, her own website here). Full of wry charm, with an instantly recognizable voice.

Her most famous song is “Poetry Man”, about (among other things) female desire.

From “Poetry Man”:

… You are a genie
And all I ask for is your smile
Each time I rub the lamp, la, la, la
When I am with you
I have a giggling teen-age crush
Then I’m a sultry vamp, ya, ya
Talk to me some more
You don’t have to go
You’re the Poetry Man
You make things all right, ya, ya …

The man turns out to be married.

Then, in my favorite song of hers, “The Married Men” (written by Maggie Roche), an extended clear-eyed and touching plaint on this theme:

One in Louisiana
One who travels around
One of  ’em mainly stays in heart-throb town

I am not their main concern
They are lonely too
I am just an arrow passing through

When they look into my eyes
I know what to do

I make sure the words I say are true

When they send me off at dawn
Pay the driver my fare
They know I am goin’ down somewhere

O the married men
The married men
Never would have had a good time again
If it wasn’t for the married men

One says he’ll come after me
Another one’ll drop me a line
One says all o’ my agony is in my mind

They know what is wrong with me
None of  ’em wants my hand
Soloin’ in my traveling wedding band

O the married men
The married men
Makes me feel like a girl again
To run with the married men

One of  ’ems got a little boy
Other one he’s got two
One of  ’ems wife is one week overdue

I know these girls they don’t like me
But I am just like them
Pickin’ a crazy apple off a stem

Givin’ it to the married men
The married men
All o’ that time in hell to spend
For kissin’ the married men

“My traveling wedding band” is especially nice, combining traveling band and wedding band.

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