My Latest Obsession: Dawes

It’s a strange thing to hear a song’s chorus for the first time, and then find yourself singing along the second time through.  But that’s exactly what happened to me a couple weeks ago, as I sat in my car belting out “When My Time Comes” at the top of my lungs.

The song, by the LA roots-rock band Dawes, caught my ear with its pulsing bass line, rich vocal harmonies, and darkly funny lyrics like:

So I took what I wanted and put it out of my reach
I wanted to pay for my successes with all my defeats,
And if heaven was all that was promised to me
Why don’t I pray for death?

The song is available for free download at Dawes’s website, where they also have some photos and stories from the road. I highly recommend checking it out.

Incidentally, my elementary school was also called Dawes.  Actually, it’s full name was “Charles Gates Dawes Elementary School,” named for the 30th Vice President of the United States, who served under President Calvin Coolidge. Charles G. Dawes was a banker and lawyer, but he was also a self-taught pianist who composed a piece in 1912, “Melody in A Major,” which became a fairly well-known theme for piano and violin.  Carl Sigman added lyrics in 1951, transforming Dawes’s piece into a pop tune called “It’s All in the Game,” which was made famous in this rendition by Tommy Edwards:

It has since been covered by everyone from Louis Armstrong to Barry Manilow, but my favorite is this delicate rendition by Keith Jarrett, from his record The Out-of-Towners:

Not that this has anything to do with the band Dawes – it’s just a pointless diversion brought to you by Twenty Dollars.

Published in: on April 7, 2010 at 10:17 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey,

    Nice to see the circuitous mention of “All In The Game.”
    Carl Sigman was my dad; the day he handed in the lyric, Dawes died, prompting the publisher to say that the lyric must have killed him.

    The Van Morrison and Merle Haggard versions are pretty great too.

    • Hi Michael,

      That’s a great and tragic story! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. I just heard Simon Dawes for the first time a couple of days ago. It was the band name before one of the members left. Good stuff.

    • Yeah, I’ve read that their music was very different when they had the other name, but I haven’t checked it out yet. Thanks for reading Angela, hope you’re doing well.

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