Jimmy Fallon took his penchant for imitating his musical guests on The Tonight Show to new highs — and lows — on Wednesday with a charming, silly song, “Two James Taylors on a Seesaw,” that proved to be exactly what its title advertised.
Over a delicate acoustic guitar, Fallon and the real James Taylor went up and down, softly singing their ode to the playground staple and turning the lowly seesaw into a poignant exemplar of friendship and empathy. Both the real and fake Taylor donned goofy khaki slacks, blue shirts, long wigs and mustaches Taylor must have thought he’d left behind in the 1970s.
“I go up and I say, ‘Wee,'” Taylor sings, before Fallon joins, “We is also you and me, waving as we pass on by.” That bond, however is suddenly threatened when Fallon considers stepping off. “Don’t jump off,” Taylor astutely warns: “If you hurt me, you’ll just hurt yourself.”
Luckily, Fallon continues to do his part and the Taylors bring their song to a satisfactorily mellow end, singing, “I am you, and you are me, guess that’s how it’ll always be / Between us we’ve seen it all / We’re just two James Taylors on a seesaw.”
Taylor also stuck around for a performance of “Stretch of the Highway,” a soft, rocking tribute to glory days spent traversing America’s interstates, which appears on the musician’s new album, Before This World.
Before This World marks Taylor’s first LP since 2002’s, October Road. It was primarily written during a solo sojourn to Newport, Rhode Island, which Taylor made in an effort to cut himself off from his everyday life: “I hadn’t been able to convince my manager, my wife and my kids that this had to be a priority,” he recently told Rolling Stone. “But I said to them, ‘If I don’t get this record written, I don’t know what’s going to happen.’ And then they let me go.”