Jackson Browne has paid tribute to friends Warren Zevon and Bob Dylan on recent records, but this spring, he will be honored on Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne (Music Road). The album will feature covers by several of Browne’s fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, plus young admirers – and one highlight is Lyle Lovett’s faithful take on Browne’s classic piano ballad “Rosie,” originally released on 1977’s multi-platinum Running on Empty. Get an exclusive first listen to that cover here.
The song’s lyrics, which are seemingly about a lonely groupie, have puzzled fans over the years. “This is a true story about a guy I knew who used to sit right over there and he mixed the monitors onstage,” Browne said onstage in 1978. In a 2003 interview with the Guardian, however, Browne admitted the surprising meaning of the song: “It’s about masturbation,” he said. “You know, Rosie Palm and her five sisters? People have listened to that song and loved it for years without knowing that. My mother, who listens to lyrics very thoughtfully, said to me, ‘I’ve finally figured out what that song’s about,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Oh shit.’ She said: ‘It’s about wine, isn’t it? Rosé? Am I right?’ So I really appreciate that my mother didn’t get all the way there imagining that.”