Jesse Malin – Questioningly

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The passing of Tommy Ramone (liquor) Friday put me in a reflective mood and sent me to the stacks, looking for something of theirs that’d adequately express just how awful it is to lose him. The thing is, even a cursory look at The Ramones‘ music shows I’m looking in the wrong place. Their music was always about the teenage now: the girl you like, the party you’re with, the music that provides a 4/4 refuge from the acute confusion of emergent adulthood. With almost mathematical totality their oeuvre turns away mourners, the self-obsessed, the wallflowers already retiring to life’s sidelines.

Released on 2002’s ‘The Song Ramones the Same,’ fellow Queens native Jesse Malin’s cover of  ‘Questioningly,’ originally released in 1978 on ‘Road To Ruin,’ is a heartfelt rendition of a song that, quite uncharacteristically of Ramones songs, tears the heart and deposits the listener in a sad & pensive space. Neither Tommy’s absence from the original recording or that it happens over a girl and not a punk drummer gone to his reward isn’t lost on me, but now that the last of the original Ramones has died this song is the only item in their name that will ever again bring me to tears.

Questioningly her eyes looked at me
And then she spoke aren’t you someone I used to know
And weren’t we lovers a long time ago?
Looked at her close forced her into view
Yes, I said, you’re a girl
That I once may have knew
But I don’t love you anymore
Why do you want to talk to me for?
You should have just let me walk by
Memories make us cry.

In the morning, I’m at work on time
My boss he tells me that I’m doing fine
When I’m going home
Whiskey bottle movies on T.V.
Memories make me cry
And I’m alone just me
Just me, Questioningly

But I dont love you anymore
Why do you want to talk to me for?
You should have just let me walk by
Memories make us cry.

Questioningly her eyes looked at me
And then she spoke aren’t you someone I used to know
And weren’t we lovers a long time ago?

RIP Erdélyi Tamás, King of Punk Rock Drummers

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