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  • Just Because I Like It

    Posted by David Foster on February 12th, 2011 (All posts by )

    Judy Collins, Albatross

    Anyone want to speculate about the meaning of the lyrics of this song?


    7 Responses to “Just Because I Like It”

    1. sol vason Says:

      This is a song about the St. Bridgette the Destroyer whose daytime job is Earth Mother. At night she lets loose then the next day she makes people happy. She’s related to Shiva. St. Bridgette has a Gaelic name which must never be spoken.

    2. Lexington Green Says:

      Judy Collins has a very nice voice.

      I looked at the lyrics, and I am sure I do not know what this song is about.

      A quick search around the interwebs does not show anyone else offering an explanation.

      David, are you quizzing, or do you not know either?

    3. Tim Oren Says:

      My favorite Judy Collins piece, just for its dreamlike imagery.

      I’ve read a speculation (where?) that it refers in part to her ambivalence about becoming a major recording star, with all the PR and image manipulation implied: “making up your memories and thinking they have found you”. (She had recorded for a number of years, but didn’t chart until 1967, when it was written.) That seems to fit some of the lyrics, but not all. She was also romantically involved with Stephen Stills about that time (the prince?)

      I have no idea if any of that is true, and I’m not sure I want to know, it might kill the aura of mystery around the song.

    4. Bill Waddell Says:

      David -She wrote Albatrosss during her serious drug and alchohol years. I suspect you would have to match her booze and pill intake levels to get your brain to the state at which the lurics have much meaning.

    5. David Foster Says:

      LG…no, I don’t know either. Some random thoughts..

      It seems that something both bad and unusual must have happened to the Lady Who Comes to the Gate….”they cover you with veils of wonder as if you were a bride/young men holding violets are curious to know if you have cried”

      She feels constrained in some way…”The embroid’ry of your life holds you in And keeps you out but you survive”

      The “iron wheels rolling through the rain” might refer to a nearby railroad, if the setting of the song is present-era, or to wagon wheels, if the setting is a long time ago

      “the colors of the day that lie along your arms”…can’t imagine, unless the Lady is addicted to injectable drugs and the “colors” refer to bruises from the injections

      “the knot of tears around your throat is crystallizing into your design”…a powerful line, the emotions we let ourselves feel constantly do crystallize into our designs.

      Other thoughts?

    6. Caro Says:

      Always liked this song, and have speculated about its lyrics, also. I thought that it was about a young woman entering a convent, perhaps unwillingly. The colors are from the stained-glass windows.

    7. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      Sorry to be cynical, but I’m going with the booze-and-drugs, plus hippie culture, theory. We wrote a lot of imagistic, ambiguous stuff in those days (hers is better than most, and far better than anything I ever did) because we thought that was “real” poetry. Striking images, mostly bittersweet, all in that same mood streaked with self-pity.

      It’s rather Rod McKuenish, actually.