A strange but very effective combination of music-hall corn and lonesome prairie ballad, with Whitman sliding vocally between a stagey archness and soft sad yodelling. The backing – clumsy piano, whistling and lovely touches of slide guitar – was what won me over first of all, then the singing, and finally the song. The love-hate dynamic here – being in erotic thrall to a woman you half dread but can?t escape – is an old blues theme, older than the blues really. “Rose Marie” sounds like it might be an old song, too, with little archaisms (“‘Twould mean my life”) and the fated fealty of the concluding lines: “Of all the queens that ever lived I’d choose you / To rule me my Rose Marie”.

Score: 8

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