This 11-minute epic is the title-track from American singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom's third studio album. The song details the life of Irish born Lola Montez, (1821 – 1861) who became famous as a Spanish dancer. Her infamous "Spider Dance" ensnared King Ludwig I of Bavaria and she became his mistress.
Montez is said to be the inspiration for the saying "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets," which was also the title of a Richard Adler and Jerry Ross song written for the 1955 musical play, Damn Yankees.
Have One On Me is over two hours long and spread out over three discs. Newsom explained to Time Magazine: "I tried to sequence it so that it could be listened to in its entirety and had a progression that felt thematically logical and natural. In a way, the three records are like chapters in a book. Unless you're serializing a book you wouldn't separate the chapters, but they're also meant to be these little self-contained segments within the narrative."
Newsom told The Independent that the album title was chosen for its association with drinking and decadence as well as its emotional connotations. She explained: "It felt kind of appropriate to have the expression people use when they're buying a round, but also in the song that the title comes from, the expression is sort of used as an example of self-sacrifice. I was thinking of it in terms of a bottle that's full, and then you pour into someone else's glass, and it's a little less full, and the giving of yourself diminishes the self."
One of the places where Montez ended up living was Grass Valley, close to Joanna Newsom's home town of Nevada City in California.
Newsom explained to The Observer May 9, 2010 why she chose to pen a song about Montez: "I've always been fascinated by her," she said. "And in recent years, I found there was a parallel between what I do as a profession and what it meant to be a female artist at that time. I was noting the intersections between being a courtesan or a whore, and these professions that were socially looked down upon, the sort of professions that were basically creative."
Have One on Me was chosen by UK's Uncut magazine critics as their Best Album of 2010.