Why I Love #1: These Days- Nico

This song is one of my all time favourite songs. It was written by Jackson Browne in the mid-sixties when he was only 16 years old. It was first released as this version, sung by Nico.

I don’t know what it is that particularly gets me about this song, each part of the way this recording comes together adds to the feel of the song. The electric guitar finger picking works wonderfully against the string parts. I think this is Nico’s best vocal work, she has a very limited range, her voice, for a female, is very low and strong. But on this song it works in her favour, she sounds warm and full of wisdom. There is something so breezy and relaxing about it. To me, it is just about reflecting on life. I think the lyrics are quite honest and hollow and not as deep as dark as people might make out it to be. It’s about those days where you just walk around and think about your life and all the things you’ve done, you haven’t done or what you should or shouldn’t have done. I think it tells us, that even when life goes a bit wrong, things get better, and you just gotta keep moving forward. I interrupt the bouncy melody and simple guitar part as not to take life too seriously. The last two lines are ‘Please don’t confront me with my failures, I had not forgotten them’. I listen to this song when I’m said and when I’m very happy, and I think it takes a special song to suit both situations.

This song is featured in the Wes Anderson film ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, the moment, which is when Gwyneth Paltrow walks off a bus, probably makes the whole film for me. You can see this moment here.

Further Listening: The whole of Nico’s 1967 album ‘Chelsea Girl‘. The Jackson Browne version of the song.


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