Dan Bern's first album was a six-song EP released in 1997 on the Sony/Work label. I can't stress enough how highly I recommend this as a gift for any occasion, sort of a one-time limited introductory offer, first-hit's free way of getting your friends hooked. The Bob Dylan influence is apparent from the first bars of "Jerusalem" but the puckish humor is only a few lyrics behind:
When I tell you that I love you, don't test my love
Accept my love, don't test my love
'Cause maybe I don't love you all that much.
At a Dan Bern show I saw in 2003 at the now-defunct Wild Duck in Eugene, Oregon, a fellow fan actually brought olives to share with the folksinger and the audience at an appropriate moment in "Jerusalem" --- I still have the pit from mine, preserved as one of those sacred little relics that don't mean much to anyone but me but are no less precious for that. But I digress.
My favorite song on for dog boy van is probably "Hannibal," as evinced by the fact that I just got goosebumps thinking about it... when my first copy of this album was stolen from my undergraduate dorm room along with the Discman holding it (author's note, 4 April 2012: just to give you an idea of how long ago this was but I'm still bitter), I was most bummed about losing "Hannibal" and "Talking Alien Abduction Blues." Later, I got another copy, but gifted it to meson, who needed the latter's physics jokes even more than I did.
Speaking of "Talking Alien Abduction Blues," even more than "Jerusalem" (which also has at least one lovely physics joke) this was probably the song that made me a Dan Bern fangirl, along with an early (1996 or 1997) interview in an NPR All Things Considered segment that included a live rendition of "Cure for AIDS" which left Linda Werthheimer briefly speechless... comedy gold.
Earlier, pre-copyright compliance revolution versions of this writeup ended with a cheerful note:
This writeup was a piece of cake, thanks to people who'd noded lyrics to most of the songs. Thanks to all—you know who you are!
As I node audit myself more than ten years since this writeup was originally posted, am reluctant to revisit all the hardlinked song titles to find out which survived the various purges, let alone figure out which I feel obligated to rescue... one thing at a time, please.
Last updated 4 April 2012