My Shepherd

Album: Together (2010)
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Songfacts®:

  • Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent, adds some guitar lines to the swaying panorama of this track. She explained to Spinner UK: "Phil [Palazzolo, the producer of Together] is a friend of mine, and I've been a fan of the New Pornographers and Neko Case and A.C. Newman for a long time. It was really casual. Phil just texted me and said 'Hey, we're working on a song and I think you'd be really cool on it. Come on over." She added: "I hopped in a cab with my little guitar rig and went to the studio [in Brooklyn]. It was only three hours, or even just an hour. The whole thing was very mellow."
  • Leader A.C. Newman blogged on the Rolling Stone how he penned this torch song: "For a few years I have been obsessed with the song 'Se Telefonando' by Mina. It is such a beautiful classic torch song, though I don't understand any of the lyrics. It was always in the back of my mind that I should rip it off somehow, write my own version of that song.
    Last year, Margaret Cho wrote to me about writing a song with her. She sent me the lyrics of a song called 'Your D--k.' It was basically a poem about the glory of somebody's d--k. I initially thought that I couldn't do it. I had nothing. Then it occurred to me to make it a song in the style of Dionne Warwick or Dusty Springfield, and it actually worked. In fact, the song will be coming out on Margaret Cho's album on August 10th this year, alongside a bunch of other funny and brilliant songs.
    For me, it was a fun experiment. It came out so well that I thought I would write my own torch song. My idea was to put a new spin on the formula and make it a song that is not about d--ks. I knew that I had Neko's torch-song-ready voice, so I was half the way there.
    The music came fairly quickly but then, once again, I had to figure out the lyrical angle. A few things influenced me. I had just read Going Places by Leonard Michaels and a story called 'Crossbones' had stuck with me, a five-page story about a quiet, bored couple that suddenly explodes into violence at the end. I had also just seen the documentary Crazy Love, about the woman who married the man who had blinded her years before, to give the shortest possible synopsis. I wanted it to be a very dysfunctional song about a very unhealthy relationship. Explore the same kind of emotions that those kinds of songs do, but take it to a more extreme level. Once I had the chorus of 'You're my lord, you're my shepherd/Careful kid, no one gets hurt/You made me,' the rest was pretty easy. I threw in a line from Johnny Hallyday's 'Joue Pas De Rock 'n' Roll' just for the hell of it, because I really like that song. That's what I do. I write songs about songs. The medium is the message.
    So 'My Shepherd' was my 'Se Telefonando.' That's the simple version."

Comments: 1

  • Anthony from Montreal, QcIt's "Ne Joue pas de Rock n Roll, Ne joue pas de Rock n Roll" pour moi. It is based on the song "Don't Play Your Rock n Roll for Me" (And a direct translation).
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