Certain Songs #1056: Lyle Lovett – “She’s Already Made Up Her Mind”

Album: Joshua Judges Ruth
Year: 1992

A nearly five-minute look at the despair of inevitability, “She’s Already Made Up Her Mind” could come across as a dirge, just too damn sad for words, but instead, it kinda reminds me of something from Big Star’s Third.

At first, it’s just Lyle telling his story to bass guitar, with a dab of piano here, a tinkle of a cymbal there, maybe an acoustic guitar strum, all of which just contribute to the dark mood he’s creating.

Now there is nothing so deep as the ocean
And there is nothing so high as the sky
And there is nothing so unwavering as a woman
When she’s already made up her mind

Without ever getting close to something resembling a beat — only the bass guitar keeps any kind of rhythm — “She’s Already Made Up Her Mind” slowly ratchets up the intensity with seemingly random guitar stabs, piano runs, steel guitar wails and even the occasional drum crashes, as Lovett continues to emphasize that nothing he does matter by repeating the title over and over again, until he decides that he has only one course of action.

So my friend carry me down to the water’s edge
And then sail with me out to that ocean deep
And let me go easy down over the side
And remember me to her

It almost goes without saying that this would all be too damn much, except that Lovett has pinned all of this darkness and despair to one of his most stark vocals and gorgeous melodies. It’s the type of song that sticks in your head long before you even understand the full extent of the despair and long after you’ve turned on the light to combat the darkness.

“She’s Already Made Up Her Mind”

“She’s Already Made Up Her Mind” performed live

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