Have One On Me

Album: Have One On Me (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • 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.

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