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Monday, May 25, 2015

You're a Better Man Than I by the Yardbirds

I first discovered this song when I was about thirteen or so, searching out music by the Yardbirds due to my interest in Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page), Cream (Eric Clapton), and Jeff Beck records. Any band with all three was sure to be a guitar onslaught, I reasoned. I was wrong, but mostly because it was far greater a band than I ever could imagine. I remember later seeing them perform late one night on TV when the 1966 Michael Antonioni movie Blow Up showed on PBS.

This track really jumped out at me because of it's obvious social theme, and remained with me throughout my life as one of the most important songs of the sixties, and all time, really. I had always assumed it was an original composition, but it was actually written by a member of Manfred MannMike Hugg, and his brother Brian Hugg

According to AllmusicHugg also emerged as a highly successful songwriter in his own right in 1966, when a composition that he'd written with his brother Brian, "You're a Better Man Than I," became a hit for the YardbirdsI would later hear another great version of this song on the second proper Sham 69 album, Herham Boys.

You're a Better Man than I (Hugg and Hugg)
Can you judge a man,
By the way he wears his hair?
Can you read his mind,
By the clothes that he wears?
Can you see a bad man,
By the pattern on his tie?

Well then, Mr, you're a better man than I.

Could you tell a wise man,
By the way he speaks or spells?
Is this more important,
Than the stories that he tells?
And call a man a fool,
If for wealth he doesn't strive?

Well then, Mr, you're a better man than I.

Can you condemn a man,
If your faith he doesn't hold?
Say the colour of his skin,
Is the colour of his soul?
Could you say that men,
For king and country all must die?

1 comment:

  1. Well I think the name of the song is a refletion what the lyrics express.
    Nice blog, I'll keep it checking it out... hope you can take a look on mine
    Hope I can get you guys when you visit Buenos Aires, Argentina for a short talk