There are too many things about the song that I could list as loving: The sound of the rain before it starts, and the sound of the sea as it finishes; the longing that’s so present in Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn’s voice as she sings (“I looked into the darkening/And while the air did chill/I knew that though I’m here in exile/That you should love me still.” I adore that couplet, the history implied and the selfishness of love gone away with the “You should love me still”); the accordian that appears at 2:13, weirdly and wonderfully fitting as the spoken word section begins and a reminder of how like the sea this song has been until now, ebbing and flowing, wonderfully choppy.
“So many tears could make me blind.” Another lovely, melancholy line (I’m listening again, as I write).
There’s an exoticness to this song, an alienness. But it’s not necessarily an attractive one, which I find makes the song more compelling. There’s something to “The Dogs of B.A.” that reminds me of the feeling you sometimes get in unfamiliar locations, where you don’t understand the language or where you are; even though everything surrounding you is beautiful and unusual, there’s a fear there, too. A sense of being lost, and powerless. This song suggests that to me, and not just in physical locations; it transfers that idea to romance, and love affairs gone wrong. I like that.