You’ve Got To Pick Up Every Stitch

It’s Halloween, so here’s a vaguely appropriate song. No story, just a scene.

I’d guess it’s February 1985, plus or minus a month. James and Stacey have been seeing each other for a little while now, and the three of us are hanging out in 402 Clay Hall one weekday evening, ostensibly paying attention to classwork but who really knows. There’s music playing, of course–maybe one of James’s recent purchases, like the Kinks’ Word of Mouth. That choice could easily have led to the turn of conversation, in which Stacey winds up mentioning (okay, railing against) a couple of her least favorite songs from the 60s. Being much more a student of singles rather than album cuts, I’m not familiar with either of them. One is the Beatles’ cover of “Mr. Moonlight” (I can say now this is not an unjustified take). The other is by Donovan, and Stacey doesn’t hold back, over-singing “season of the WI-I-ITCH” in an overly nasal voice, maybe even tossing in one of her most Stacey-like gestures, arms waving in front of her.

The things you remember.

It would be many, many years before I actually heard “Season of the Witch” in its entirety. I won’t disagree that it’s got some pretty silly lyrics, but it sure feels like there was a whole lot of zeitgeist being captured in the studio. I imagine I’ll be belting out that title phrase, thinking of Stacey, throughout the day.

There’ll be more from Mr. Leitch sometime in the next few months.

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