Certain Songs #1098: Mary Lou Lord – “Some Jingle Jangle Morning”

Album: Got No Shadow
Year: 1998

It’s a shame that the one thing anybody probably knows about Mary Lou Lord is that she had a relationship with Kurt Cobain just prior to Nevermind coming out, and because of that relationship, she has been locked in an on-and-off feud with Courtney Love pretty much ever since.

It’s even more of a shame that the catalyst for the feud was the original version of this particular song, “Some Jingle Jangle Morning,” which originally came out on an 7″ in 1993 and was also a highlight of her debut full-length, 1998’s Got No Shadow.

Got No Shadow features a picture of Mary Lou busking, presumably on the streets of Boston, which was how people first noticed her, but despite the provenance of its name, “Some Jingle Jangle Morning” was hardly a folk song, but rather a full-out rock song.

Song about a sunbeam
Song about a girl
Your voice still rings and echoes in my mind
So many words unspoken
So many worlds apart
Your memory is all you left behind

With crunchy guitar hooks provided by long-time collaborator Nick Saloman (whom lovers of obscure indie Brits might know as The Bevis Frond) (or might not), and Lord’s vocals double, triple, even-quadruple tracked, “Some Jingle Jangle Morning” delivers the goods as it sails into its wistful chorus.

Now LSD and Ecstasy don’t help me
And my dance with Mr. Brownstone got too rough
Will you wake me without warning
Some jingle-jangle morning?
We’ll fly away to heaven on a star

One of the many great things about that chorus is that it references great drugs songs by both Bob Dylan and Guns N’ Roses all in the context of a girl wanting a boy to come back into her life, even as the tone of her vocals indicate that it ain’t never gonna happen.

And in the end, that’s the beauty of “Some Jingle Jangle Morning:” Lord is able to take specific details of a specific incident and turn them into a universally-relatable song. Which, perhaps in a different universe, could have been a hit, followed by the equally beguiling “Lights Are Changing” and “Seven Sisters,” only by 1998, this kind of song wasn’t even going to make any kind of dent anywhere.

That said, I can’t believe that the producers of Riverdale haven’t yet commissioned a slowed-down, trippy version of this song to play over a morning-after montage where one or more of the characters are getting wasted.

“Some Jingle Jangle Morning”

“Some Jingle Jangle Morning” performed live in 1998

“Some Jingle Jangle Morning” original 7″ single

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