Sweet Rosalyn

“A song about a stripper.”Sheryl Crow (643)
“I write songs like the most elementary composition class you ever had. That is the intent of the song. I was inspired in New Orleans, the strip clubs and the energy in the frenetic French quarter where we were recording. It has become so oddly fashionable to become a stripper, like the Demi Moore film Striptease. The women in these places have their own story of intrigue, which is enticing because they represent something in their personalities which we want to let loose.”Sheryl Crow (647)

Members Only

“We were making The Globe Sessions in New York City two albums ago [the album was released in 1998 – Ed] and it was a really weird time. There was this really ominous threat made by this guy Saddam Hussein and there was this rumbling of rumor about this Eastern leader who was making threats against New York City. The song was really about that. There was probably about two weeks of real fear in there and it became the inspiration of this song but nothing happened. The first verse talks about my friend Greg, the drummer, who was one of those guys who would say, “it’s all good,” when you knew it wasn’t all good – it’s never really all good. I got really tired of that phrase. So it’s about that. Having this really “it can never happen” attitude.”Sheryl Crow (643)

A Change Would Do You Good

“It was strangely inspired by a magazine article about Joe Meek. Keeping in mind that Bill [producer Bottrell – Ed] had just left, it was about this producer who had a very corporate time as far as music making was concerned – the BBC with engineers wearing lab coats, specific hours of recording and so forth. This producer produced in his own home and manufactured a big hit. He was such a good producer and advanced for his time, and eventually he kinda self-destructed. He represents so many people, people really struggling in a logical, controllable space. Coming off what happened with the press on my last record, it’s about losing grasp of the world and eventually losing control.”Sheryl Crow (647)

Redemption Day

“I was so inspired by MOJO’s article on Bob Dylan [by Greil Marcus, MOJO 32 – Ed]; it evoked a huge well of emotion for me. When I was a kid writing songs, bad songs, I’d go down to the drugstore and get all these magazines like Creem and Rolling Stone with people in them like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, a whole community of musicians who were outspoken about the Civil Rights movement. That’s what I wanted it to be like. Since then I feel we have lost our innocence. Nowadays there is no sense of community between musicians, no common goal that musicians are outspoken about. The common voice I’m hearing is that there is a feeling of apathy. I too have been extremely disgruntled with the people in power. I went to Bosnia with just a guitar, by myself, playing for the NATO troops – I went with the First Lady, sponsored by the USO – and digested all that, but I didn’t feel the need to write about it because my going over there wasn’t a political statement. But one night I had just got through a bad split with my boyfriend after three years and I was really upset, and I sat down in front of my computer, and within 10 minutes I had six stanzas of this song – not how I typically write. Reading it back, I realized what the song was really about – Rwanda and Bosnia, and slowly realizing that there are only a handful of powerful men out there who come together in a meeting room and decide the fate of a nation. When you go over and see open graves that doesn’t make sense any more.”Sheryl Crow (647)

The Book

“The song is written metaphorically. I didn’t have a three-day affair in Rome, but the emotion it evokes is a real sentiment of exposing yourself to someone and then having it used against you. When I wrote this song, it was really capturing a moment about that feeling of helplessness, of not being able to make things right. There’s no way to retrace our steps, to really know what the truth was. That’s one nice thing about writing about music: I get to work out my demons.”Sheryl Crow (647)

What I Can Do For You

“As a woman in the music biz I face sexual harassment every day – especially as a backing singer – but I don’t hammer people over the head. I sing, as a woman, what a man says as a sexual harasser. Listening to it you should feel slimey and creepy.”Sheryl Crow (650)

We Do What We Can

“Leo was the family doctor, he delivered me. He’d toured with Tommy Dorsey, he was very charismatic, a great storyteller. Then he died of a coronary. I’d never seen my dad cry before. It took him a long time to get over it. Playing wasn’t that sweet for him any more. And the band dispersed, people went back into their ordinary lives, 9 to 5 jobs, no more gigs. [Sheryl’s dad was in a big band with Leo – Ed]. Before I wrote the song I told Bill Bottrell about my dad and he recorded me talking for an hour and a half. Then he said, ‘I want you to take these tapes home and listen to them and come back tomorrow with a song’. I’m going, ‘What? I don’t want to write about this’. But I did. That’s a creative producer for you. And I got the story down to a three-minute lyric. I remember Joni Mitchell said, ‘It’s the words you leave out that make it’. Prepositions, nouns, verbs, just get rid of them! [The story of ‘We Do What We Can’ was only completed when, after a long campaign of attrition, Sheryl persuaded her father to get his trumpet out again, come to LA, and play on the track – Ed.] He kept saying ‘Why don’t you call Herb Alpert? He’s the A in A&M and he’s a much better trumpeter than I am’. But that wasn’t the point. He was so nervous. Then when he played he sounded so much like he did when I was eight years old. And the only time he gets to play on a record it sells three million copies. He’s quite puffed up right now. People call him for interviews. He’s all, ‘That’s Wendell with two els’. I’m a huge fan of my father… though we’re so similar it can be a curse sometimes.”Sheryl Crow (651)

Crash And Burn

“I look at women throughout rock ’n’ roll history, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, and we all have a similar story. We wind up dating musicians and that leads to a crisis. Creative people crashing together. It can be a very heightened experience. Maybe not conducive to healthy relationships, though. But I have a great life! Even if I’ve never been married, I’ve certainly had some incredible, wonderful and extreme relationships.”Sheryl Crow (652)

Halfway There

“‘Halfway There’ really addressed the loss of civility in our dialogue and it just begs the question, “Is there no way that we can agree to disagree.” I’m a citizen of Nashville where there is this growing liberal community that is now living alongside a very well established conservative community and yet there are certain things in Nashville that we all come together in agreement on: fundraising for charities and taking care of people who need help. There are just certain things where there are no parties, it’s just very non-partisan. There are lots of things that people disagree on in Nashville but it hasn’t reached the kind of vitriolic dialogue that I saw on the political campaign.”Sheryl Crow (1122)

Cross Creek Road

“I moved to Nashville about fifteen years ago after I finished breast cancer treatment. I just needed quiet so I moved out of town on this road called “Cross Creek”. This song is just about quietening out the noise.”Sheryl Crow (1307)