Rod Stewart “You Wear It Well” (1972)

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Following widescale reaction to his recent Don Henley post, here’s another lyric-centric entry from guest blogger, Shep Cummings.

“Madame Onassis got nothing on you”

Like a picture being worth a thousand words, sometimes one example is worth a thousand lyrics. Co-written with guitarist Martin Quittenton, ‘You Wear It Well’ is Rod Stewart’s musical recital of a letter sent one hot afternoon by a bored guy to his ex-girlfriend combining admiration with regret but in the most complimentary of ways.  He has two central messages for her: One is, he “ain’t forgetting that you were once mine”; and the other, hence the title, is that “she wears it well.”  The message here being that in addition to clothing, of course, she wears the events of her life as well as anyone.  How well? As the song moves on he provides case after case. “A little old fashioned but that’s alright,” “There ain’t a lady in the land so fine” and “Them homesick blues and radical views haven’t left a mark on you.”  Then comes the deal closer.  “You wear it well..Madame Onassis got nothing on you.”   Game over.  She’s in Jackie O’s league and that’s all the listener needs to know.


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