music

Thirteen

"Won't you let me walk you home from school?
won't you let me meet you at the pool? 
maybe Friday I can get tickets for the dance, 
and i'll take you.
won't you tell your dad, "get off my back"?
tell him what we said about "Paint it Black." 
rock 'n roll is here to stay 
come inside where it's okay,
and i'll shake you.
won't you tell me what you're thinking of? 
would you be an outlaw for my love?
if it's so, well, let me know
if it's "no", well, I can go, 
I won't make you."

“Thirteen” was written by Alex Chilton and Chris Bell of Big Star. It’s featured on their 1972 album, #1 Record. They’re considered a cult act by those who followed them throughout the the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, a mix of indie folk rock and remnants of British pop. Bill Janovitz, the singer and guitarist of one of my favorite bands, Buffalo Tom, wrote a review on Big Star for Allmusic, saying, “There are few songs that capture the aching innocence of adolescence….and fewer that are as pretty as this song.” 

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Chilton admitted that the only cover of “Thirteen” that he has enjoyed was Garbage’s version. Other artists who have covered “Thirteen” include: Evan Dando of The Lemonheads, Kind of Like Spitting, Elliott Smith, and Wilco. 

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