[Home]It's A Crime

It's A Crime is The Magnetic Fields' "Swedish Reggae" song.

It makes for a joyously camp performance when played live, featuring the [full ensemble] — regarding which, LD Beghtol writes:

The ABBA-esque version we did live (which some day might come out on the DVD of the London shows) was born in a car while Shirley [Simms], Stephin [Merritt], Dudley [Klute] and I were driving to South Carolina for Merge-Fest to premiere the album in 1999. It was the hottest summer on record.

I'd heard all the album by then at Stephin's, but neither Shirley or Dudley had, so we pretty much listened to the three discs over and over in the car on the way — both to hear it in sequence and to rehearse our songs a bit.

When It's a Crime came on, Shirley and I just started improvising the backing parts (we both lovelovelove to sing backing vocals and can harmonize on command) and it just really worked from the first attempt. So we after one run-through, we skipped the CD back to the beginning and Stephin improvised then perfected his reggae vocal-bass part. What bliss! When we got the club for soundcheck later that afternoon, we taught it to Claudia and performed it that night — and thereafter the same way whenever we all were together.

Pity it was never a single.

'You won't be hearing from me anymore
cause I can't see through my tears anymore
If it takes years to be any more than a jellyfish'

Rhyming by repeating the same word is generally regarded as fairly lame (except in the context of blue songs that repeat whole lines), so Stephin is making a songwriting joke by repeating "any more" not once but twice. It's a crime, indeed.


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Last edited 2005-5-15 3:08 pm by DavidJennings (diff)