Little White Dove

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  • Jenny Lewis wrote this song about visiting her dying mother in hospital. The actress and her mom, a professional singer named Linda, had been estranged for almost a decade. Linda was a heroin addict and their difficult relationship dated back to when Lewis was a child actor and her mom was siphoning off her salary to fund what the star now suspects was a small-time career as a drug dealer.

    While away, Lewis got a call that her mom had liver cancer and she returned back to Los Angeles for a reconciliation. She sings here of how they finally found forgiveness, "behind a yellow curtain on the second floor."
  • Lewis told the BBC that writing this song was therapeutic:

    "I'm always writing music, but that song... I just couldn't help myself," she said. "It helped me. Every day it just helped, you know, to get out of the car and walk through the parking lot and sign in at the desk.

    I'd have a little bassline in my head as I made my way to the elevator. It really carried me through."
  • Beck helped Jenny Lewis to write the song, which includes in the middle a brief chirrup of Auto-Tune, the only moment of digital manipulation on On the Line. "That came about because Beck was altering my demo vocal, to show me how he wanted me to sing the song," she told BBC. "But when I heard it I said, 'That's got to stay! That's the coolest thing in the whole song.'"
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