Sunday, September 19, 2010

#4 Greatest Felice Brothers Song (so far)- Ballad of Lou the Welterweight

play here

About 5 years ago, sitting on their fathers porch, before there ever was a touring band, Simone and James Felice were stunned at a new song their brother Ian had just written, called "Ballad of Lou The Welterweight", about a down and out pugilist, who "had a way like Errol Flynn". Unlike other great boxing songs like the imagined tragedy of The Hurricane, (the real tragedy was the victims, which is likely why Dylan refuses to play it), Lou the Welterweight is a heart wrenching tale of a man toiling his trade, paying the ultimate price for it, and the ones he leaves behind. Its one of the very best story songs ever written.

Most often sports themed music and film deal with characters like Lou, as they get older, trying to come to grips with their diminished existence (Pride of the Yankees, Bull Durham, On The Waterfront), but this character is very different. Lou is unaware of his impending doom, his diminished abilities, and in this way he resembles Scorcese's "Raging Bull".