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2.06-I CAN'T MAKE YOUR WAY (Yardbirds)

Yardbirds

LISTEN

        I can't make your way.

Silly men, they all get worried
Live their life so worthlessly
Troubled, bothered, flustered, hurried--
They should take a look at me.

Taxman, rentman, they all chase me.
I ain't home when they come round.
Got no money, live my life free.
That's the best way, I have found.

        [Chorus (2x)]

        [Break]

        [Chorus]

Is that me I hear you calling?
Do I hear you call my name?
It ain't me that will be falling.
Ten years time, I'll be the same.

        [Chorus & Fade Out (5x)]


The verses in I Can't Make Your Way are simple quatrains to the point of sounding like a children's tune, with a one line refrain which restates the title. It would be a throwaway track musically, except for the fact that Jeff Beck is keeping a constant flow of lead guitar working in a register companionable to the harmonica playing that accompanies it. One listener appropriately described Beck’s playing on the verses as like a “dove cooing”. I hear a relation in sound to the Beatles’ I’m Only Sleeping, but Beck’s guitar is not being played on backward tapes! The break of the song goes entirely its own way, having nothing to do with the structure of the verses, and Beck's guitar here prefigures the grand expansive gestures of Eric Clapton in Cream's White Room, providing dramatic contrast to the rest of the song.

The message is yet another advertisement for the hippie lifestyle, stressing poverty as a means to freedom, while remaining wily enough to escape creditors. The singer asserts that he is only telling his audience the way to happiness that he has found, and insists that the listener find his own way. Further, the singer is confident that while others change to meet the demands of the times, he will be the same ten years down the road. (The Yardbirds last Top 40 single, released in October 1966 was titled Happenings Ten Years Time Ago. For the youth of the psychedelic movement, ten years seemed close to an eternity. Alas, the Yardbirds wouldn’t last as a popular group for another year.)

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