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Jean Duluth Jenny
It's such a waste of time to grow old
Faux Breaux et Sœurs,
On September 19, 1998 I created a rickety document of lost love called “Jean Duluth Jenny.”
Songs were pouring out of me like cheeze whiz from the spigot at that time, and I was doing my best to capture them on my tape recorder—a Tascam cassette four track.
Since then, I’ve tried to record better versions of this tune, but haved failed each time.
I grew up in Duluth, Minnesota.
Jean Duluth Roadis a road that leads north out of town and terminates at Normana Road.
My little league baseball team was called Livingston’s Big Duluth.
I lived on Woodland Avenue.
Jean Duluth was a bike ride away.
Duluth looms large.
Jenny was a friend of mine and she lived on the corner
She was in the sixth grade, I was in the fourth, she was older
With Jenny Endicott it didn’t matter at all
She was a real human being
So enlightened at such a young age
And now I see what it means
Jenny always said
“You know, it’s such a waste of time to grow old!”
And Jenny Endicott said
“Take my hand, maybe we will go for a walk.”
Jenny was a friend, she sat with me in cafeteria
When I got sick with chickenpox she brought me soup and meals
We sat on the couch all day long watching infomercials on TV
The occasional day-time soap just to catch up on the story Jenny says:
“Matty well you really should know, it’s such a waste of time to grow old.”
And Jenny Endicott said take my hand, maybe we will go for a walk.
Jenny Endicott said take my hand maybe it is time that we talked
And we walked…
She was in the 6th grade her parents said that it was time to move on
Her dad got a job in the Citiesand it was a promotion
So farewell to this northern port, where Matty and his family live
We cried together under the porch, we held hands and kissed a little bit
Oh, now I’m alone, Jenny is somewhere yes I know
And I know
That Jenny Endicott was a friend of mine, (she) put her hand and heart on the line
Jenny Endicott said “Take my hand hand, maybe we will go for a walk”
Jenny was a friend that I could count on
Jenny was the friend that I would count on
She helped with my day all the time
Jenny Endicott said “Take my hand,
Maybe we will go for a walk…”
Some names have been changed to protect fictional characters.
I remain your humble servant
24 years, if my math is correct.
Lots of times, I’ll just end up with a click track and a long face.
People who live up there tend to call it “The Jean Duluth Road.”
If you’re a sonic purist, note that the embedded substack player is an mp3 file, and the embedded bandcamp player is a wav file generated from that mp3 file and then goosed up with some compression in Adobe Audition. The source digital file was created at Mike Wisti’s Albatross studios, going from the cassette player through his nicer digital converter (Apogee, I wanna say), plus some API or Tubetech compression. Yup.
This is Duluth talk for Minneapolis/Saint Paul, the emerald cities to the south of my hometown.
This track was originally called “Jenny Anykind” or “Jenny from Duluth.” Jennyanykind was (is?) a band from North Carolina that made some noise in 1992-8, and their name got stuck in my head. I recorded this demo and gave it to an artist friend (Dan Cahill) on cassette back then; he listened to the tape and thought the lyric was Jenny Endicott. So there was no real Jenny Endicott, but I imagine she would have looked a bit like this:
Go buy it over at bandcamp, eh?
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