“Gloria”–Patti Smith Group (Written by Van Morrison)

4/22/1979 Patti Smith Group at Rockpalast TV

Originally a Van Morrison song, but Smith added her opening line and she has a unique arrangement, a brooding intensity leading to an explosive punk rock culmination.

Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine
Meltin’ in a pot of thieves
Wild card up my sleeve
Thick heart of stone
My sins my own
They belong to me, me
People say ‘beware!’
But I don’t care
The words are just
Rules and regulations to me, me
I-I walk in a room, you know I look so proud
I’m movin’ in this here atmosphere, well, anything’s allowed
And I go to this here party and I just get bored
Until I look out the window, see a sweet young thing
Humpin’ on the parking meter, leanin’ on the parking meter
Oh, she looks so good, oh, she looks so fine
And I got this crazy feeling and then I’m gonna ah-ah make her mine.

She took a song covered by thousands of garage bands and ripped the head off of it.

And my baby is walkin’ through the door
Leanin’ on my couch she whispers to me and I take the big plunge
And oh, she was so good and oh, she was so fine
And I’m gonna tell the world that I just ah-ah made her mine
And I said darling, tell me your name, she told me her name
She whispered to me, she told me her name
And her name is, and her name is, and her name is, and her name is g-l-o-r-i-a
G-l-o-r-i-a gloria g-l-o-r-i-a gloria
G-l-o-r-i-a gloria g-l-o-r-i-a gloria

We have to pay homage to Van Morrison, the writer of this pure rock n roll in the seediest, tastiest sense.

Van Morrison and John Lee Hooker, 1989 Beacon Theater


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