Two-Bit Cares
By: Beck Hansen
Written by: Beck Hansen

Alternate Titles:

a.k.a. I Can't Drive My Two-Bit Cares Away

  1. Two-Bit Cares
Two-Bit Cares [Version (a)]:

Baby, I can't make it straight
My boots got stuck and I can't wait
You're the one who's got no tongue
Look and see which way it's run
Man alive! I can't drive my two-bit cares away

Obituaries I seen right through
Brochures of the times we knew
Taxes on the days we spent
Repossessed and maimed and chained
Man alive! I can't drive my two-bit cares away

Accusation and suspects named
Battered husbands, cousins blamed
Holding up your trophy bones
Sticks and stones and lesser-knowns
Man alive! I can't drive my two-bit cares away

And all your hopes can be derailed
No salt in the seas you've sailed
No dreams in the night you lie
All the stars drip from the sky
Man alive! I can't drive my two-bit cares away
Man alive! I can't drive my two-bit cares away
The Song:

Beck, on his annual KCRW appearence of June 19 1996, played a number of new, unreleased folk songs. Most of them ("Somewhere Far Along," "Buried Alive") are now being credited to that 1995 K Records album that was never released. Most of these songs are full of images that would show up on Odelay. The phrase "two bit cares," for instance, made it into "Lord Only Knows." "No salt in the seas" ended up in "Deadweight."

Anyway, the song sounds as if it was written on a banjo, as it has that snappy, jaunty country feel to it. A somewhat forgettable and inconsequential song in the end, "Two Bit Cares" is still a fun piece.

Played live 3 times:
Earliest known live version: June 5, 1996
Latest known live version: September 24, 1996

A couple of weeks before KCRW, and the release of Odelay, Beck did a show in Toronto on June 5 1996. Full of rare songs, Beck was definitely on top of his folk-singer skills. He introduced the song, "This one is a quick one. It's called 'I Can't Drive My Two-Bit Cares Away.'" He blows harmonica all over it, and seems to stumble around the lyrics (which is understandable), but it's a good song and the crowd seems to dig it.

There's a second version a few weeks later on KCRW.

Beck then does it one other time in a few months later at a show in Memphis. This is a very quick version, but nice to hear.

He probably did it at shows in between, I would guess, but those are the three times we know about.