Put On, Cologne

Album: Don't Get Too Grand (2013)
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Songfacts®:

  • Cologne is something men put on to improve their olfactory standing, but it's also a city in Germany. The title doesn't appear in the lyrics, but Europe is a backdrop, as Woods sings about being a "believer in Rome" and losing a girl to a "stupid European boyfriend."

    "It's just like the point of view of a person immediately after a relationship ending, just being flippant," he told Quip magazine. "It's kind of appealing to try to make that pretty and beautiful. It's a fun challenge."
  • "Put On, Cologne" from Donovan Woods' third album became one of his best-known tunes after it gained some recognition from radio play in Canada.

    When we spoke with Woods in 2016, he recalled, "I wrote it even before I recorded The Widowmaker, which was the record before it. I always thought it was catchy and fun, but I didn't think it was any good. I eventually whipped it back out."

    "We recorded a little demo for Don't Get Too Grand and I didn't think it was really anything," he continued. "I thought it was just this catchy little thing, but eventually once we recorded the demo, they thought it was really good. We never recorded another version - we just put the demo right on the record."
  • Woods had a friend who had been in Europe and was going through some girlfriend problems, which gave him inspiration for this song. "I can't remember exactly what was going on with him, but I was taking things from his emails back home," Woods told us. "I certainly didn't think it would garner as much attention because of it. I really had no idea. I just thought it was kind of stupid, to be honest with you [laughs]."

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