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The Cut: This Song Is Everywhere Right Now

"In the season premiere of High Maintenance, The Guy, our dealer protagonist, has decamped to upstate New York to tool around for a while. He smokes weed, paddleboards, smokes weed while paddleboarding, and, at one point, attends a memorial service for an old hippie named Berg. While there, the late man’s rag-tag group of friends break out into a spectacularly out-of-tune sing-along to “Crimson and Clover.” It’s touching without feeling saccharine, and hits a perfectly wistful note for the moment.

It also made me notice that the decades-old song is strangely getting a ton of play in 2019 TV and movies.

“Crimson and Clover” was first recorded in 1968 by Tommy James and the Shondells, though it’s been covered and sampled multiple times over the years, and a number of versions have been used as background music before. (Fun fact: When I first heard it, years ago, it was via an mp3 file that erroneously attributed it to Lou Reed. Although I did think it was kind of weird that a guy who loved singing about heroin so much had also recorded such a warm, straightforward pop song, I believed this was true until I did the slightest bit of cursory research.) But there’s been a recent wave of ubiquity in the past few months, which I started to pick up on after I first saw the High Maintenance scene."

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