Red Chord

Thanks to our friend Andrea for the latest Jukebox selection!

Anything goes at the end of this song when it’s played live. Cover song snippets and dedications – it feels like a song about connecting with things that are lost. People, feelings, words. “And I’m pulling on the red chord / So you’re not so far away.” Mic Christopher and Elvis Presley, love and times past and poetry like bottomless cups of black coffee. Tributes in the form of tagged lyrics: “Here Comes the Night” by Van Morrison, or sometimes “Heydey” by Mic Christopher, “Last Goodbye” by Jeff Buckley.

I have to admit, I’ve only seen this song live as part of a Frames set once. The other times have been to close out Swell Season shows. The band leads the audience to sing along to whichever tune is being tagged to the end. I don’t think there’s much better than closing a gig with an epic audience sing-a-long but typically Swell Season sets don’t end with the crowd screaming along to the wordless chant that this song becomes when it is in the hands of the Frames. There is an exchange of energy, a sense of being in this boat together, everyone in the room raising their voices and faces to the sky. Becoming poetry.


This isn’t a proper live video but it is one of my favorite versions of this song, from the album “Breadcrumb Trail.” The end features part of “Last Goodbye” as well as improvised lines from Van Morrison’s “Rave on John Donne.” (This recording unfortunately skips a little at points.)

Here’s a rather definitive performance from the famed Witness 2001 show.

Another faux-video, this time a recording of a performance from a radio broadcast on New Year’s Eve. Before the song starts Glen says, “Anybody who can sing in here has got to give it something.” It goes on to be utterly epic.

Rave on.