My Top 1000 Songs #132: Don't Ever Change

After a couple days of really big songs, it's time for something much more intimate. I love so much of the music of singer-songwriter Amy Rigby--I recently wrote an Amy Rigby Top 10 over at Toppermost--but the song that affects me most is "Don't Ever Change," off 2003's Til The Wheels Fall Off.

It's a stripped-down, folky acoustic tune, shades of Daniel Johnston's "Speeding Motorcycle" (the Yo La Tengo or Mary Lou Lord version) and Big Star's "Thirteen." Rigby picks a few subjects for her affections--a couple beer-gutted small-town strangers she spots fishing; her distant teenage daughter; her cheatin' man--and commences the bittersweet heartstring-tugging. 

As the father of a daughter myself, the middle verse always kills me: "I picked my daughter up at school last week, she had her headphones on, she barely said hello. And all I wanted was to hug her, smother her with kisses. But I was cool, like hi there, how did it go?" And it's all good by the chorus: "I love you, you're perfect, don't ever change."

Crying? No, I just have something in my eye.

In times when cynicism and anger are hard to avoid, there is simply nothing like the emotional rush I get from Rigby's assurance in the bridge: "I'm holding on to everything that's good in this world. There's a lot that's good in this world."

Amy live (with musical/romantic partner, punk veteran Wreckless Eric: