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I Try To Be Amused

November 8, 2005

Oh, I used to be disgusted
And now I try to be amused
But since their wings have got rusted
You know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes

I bought a half-dozen singles from iTunes yesterday. Among them was a cover of anold Elvis Costello song, (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes, done in traditional American folk style. It was from an Elvis tribute album with avariety of artists, most of them unknown to me. Hem, the group doing the Red Shoes cover, really brought out the exquisite, heartbreaking beauty of this forgotten gem. After buying it and listening to it for a day I finally got around to searching the iTunes store for Hem’s discography. Perhaps their original work had something of this charm. That’s when I discovered that I’d been looking for them for a year or more.

Some time ago I heard them on NPR, being interviewed by Terry Gross or someone. Their music had been interspersed and it really caught my attention. I was so intrigued thatI later tried to look them up but couldn’t remember their name. Since that time I periodically sought to google bits of their lyrics (“I am holding half an acre“) to no avail. I never could discover who they were. Now I know!

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  1. I’m just getting into Hem, they’re good from what I’ve heard. You should check out The New Kentucky Quarter>. The password is ‘angeline’. I haven’t stopped listening to their cd since I saw them on Saturday.


  2. It’s not a forgotten gem around these parts–I’ve been playing it regularly since it first came out. It has one of the best-ever lyrics in it: “I said I’m so happy I could die, she said drop dead, then left with another guy.” I can’t imagine anyone else doing it. I’ll keep my Elvis version.



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