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“Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” on Ukulele: Subway Magic

March 24th, 2010 by Jeff Simmermon

I was crossing through the Essex/Delancey subway last night at about 1, coming home from the incredible Cherry Pop Burlesque. One of the performers had done a stunning routine to Lou Reed’s version of “This Magic Moment” from the “Lost Highway” Soundtrack — which I’d never heard before. The routine and the song meshed perfectly in this grinding, menacing, but also sweet experience that had me all fired up and confused, just the way you should be when you see something amazing that you’ve never seen before.

And then I came across this guy playing cover songs on a ukulele:


He was on the natural stage there on the Uptown side of the F train, playing sweet, melancholy songs greatly aided by all the natural reverb down there.The singer/ukulelist goes by the name “Laustcawz.”He’s got a website here, and this is his theme song.

I got him to do a song just for me so I could share it with all of you:

It’s a version of B.J. Thomas’ “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” which was apparently #1 on the Billboard charts in 1975. You’ll hear some echo there — some of it’s the train station, but it’s also a woman who couldn’t help herself but to join in. She looked to be about 26, a punk rock black woman with several pink dreadlocks and a smattering of facial piercings instinctively chiming in on a sad, sweet country/easy listening pop hit from back before she was born.

When I watch this now, at my desk the day after, I can feel this enormous swelling in my throat and chest, like my lungs and heart are suddenly way too big. My eyes bulge a little, and there is a wetness in the corners that’s not tears, exactly. It’s more like a nectar.

It’s the nectar that’s a byproduct from a chemical reaction inside the soul — when you find yourself, all of a sudden, so much more alive and in love with the world than you ever thought you could be.

I have no idea what the street value is of a honey made from that nectar. Boy, that must be something.

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