We’ve shared hundreds of live recordings with you over the years, but I don’t think we’ve ever shared a performance dating back quite as far as today’s free Club EDA download. Also, in honor of the arrival of Jewel and Ty’s son, Kase Townes Murray, I thought it might be fun to investigate one of Jewel’s earliest lullabies this time around - “Sov Gott.” A 1993 performance at The Inner Change coffeehouse in San Diego, shortly after she began her Thursday night residency there; Jewel had just turned 19 at the time of this recording.
Despite being one of Jewel’s oldest songs, "Sov Gott (Sleep Well)" didn’t get an official title until the 2009 "Lullaby" album sessions. For all those years in between, it was more commonly known as “Dolphin & Wolf” or simply the “Swedish Song.” Since the very beginning this song has captivated audiences in a manner that is unique. In a way, it was a precursor to Jewel's approach on "Gloria," in that she diverts ones attention away from any specific meaning in the lyrics, allowing listeners to more easily focus on her voice as an instrument. "Sov Gott" is a very simple folk song, but it has always had a mesmerizing effect on audiences.
The song was originally conceived during a road trip from San Francisco to Colorado when Jewel was 17. To help pass the time constructively, she decided to have her traveling companion teach her some rudimentary Swedish, starting with the alphabet and random words and phrases that interested her. When she learned several words and phrases (kiss, dolphin, wolf, sleep well and I love you for all time), she began writing a new song utilizing what she learned as the lyrics. The result was "Sov Gott," a simple fable where a dolphin has the misfortune to fall in love with a wolf.
As Jewel explains it further:
The ill-fated love can never be realized by the animals from two different worlds, so each night they decide to meet at sunset, and wish each other good night and sleep well, and they kiss (OK, touch noses) at the shoreline, declaring eternal love. After they meet at sunset and touch, they also proclaim that tomorrow, "morning wakens when we kiss."
This song was among the first demos Jewel recorded after settling in San Diego, which were cut shortly after her 18th birthday in 1992. “Sov Gott” became a live repertoire fixture during her coffeehouse era, but has been infrequently performed since then. She attempted recording it several times, both during the "Pieces Of You" sessions in 1994 and subsequent 1995 and 1996 studio sessions, but it wasn’t until the concept of her 2009 “Lullaby” album that it became a perfect fit and she finally recorded it to her satisfaction. Over the past decade or so, she has only performed it on rare occasions before the most attentive and respectful audiences. Despite its simplicity, “Sov Gott” remains one of Jewel's most hauntingly beautiful songs and one that displays her remarkable vocal range, especially her upper register.
The "Lullaby" album recording is Jewel alone, just voice and acoustic guitar and the same goes for this 1993 recording. Other than a slight lyric addition to the end of the album version, Jewel also changed the finger picking pattern from classical quadruplets to a more mellow and relaxed pattern, which she felt suited the mood of the song better. Regardless of the “Lullaby” album version being an infinitely superior vocal and performance, this vintage recording of "Sov Gott" is a window back in time, capturing the song in itʼs freshly written original state. The song and Jewelʼs humorous stage banter before and after will provide listeners a sense of her voice, rudimentary guitar playing and personality at her earliest gigs in San Diego, when she was temporarily homeless, living in her van and literally singing for her food money. In addition to the free audio download file, a second file of Jewel’s handwritten lyrics are also included, which contain a Swedish/English translation.
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If you happened to miss our previous Club EDA downloads, all of them are still available, so you can help yourself to those files as well. For details on all of the previous downloads, you can access all my blogs by clicking “Alan." In regards to our free downloads, we respectfully request that rather than share the free files elsewhere, that you do Jewel the favor of instead sharing the link to join her free Club EDA community, so that others can download the free files themselves. Please spread the word rather than the files and help Jewel build her online community. You can read her thoughts on this here.
We hope you enjoy this month’s download of a 19-year old Jewel performing “Sov Gott” live at The Inner Change coffeehouse in San Diego on June 24, 1993. Alan