As long as I've been listening to Richard Farina.
A lot of people don't like the character of Llewyn Davis in the movie. And with good reason. He's a mess. He uses people, giving nothing. He's not, however, DVR.
That does not mean, however, that he is not based on real characters of the early sixties folk scene in Greenwich Village.
Dylan, for one, is notorious for the way he treated Phil Ochs. He also recorded DVR's version of "The House of the Rising Sun," only telling the older singer once the deed was done. And he certainly ruffled Farina's feathers. The two of them, as a result, had something of a duel in, appropriately enough, song.
Farina's came first, called "Morgan the Pirate" after a cheap Italian movie starring Steve Reeves, it is angry, sarcastic and bitter in its comments to a man who seems rather much like Llewyn Davis:
It's bye, bye buddy, have to say it once again:The chorus tells it all:
I appreciate your velvet, helping hand.
Even though you never gave it,
I am sure you had to save it
For the gestures of the friends you understand.
There are one or two hard feelings,There is just as much rancor in Dylan's response, "Positively 4th Street":
One or two hard feelings left behind.
I know the reason thatThe song ends:
You talk behind my back:
I used to be among the crowd
You're in with.
Yes, I wish that for just one timeGame, set and match goes to Dylan. Though I love Farina, and think of his novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me as a tour de force, he was not quite the songwriter that Dylan was... and, some might say, was not quite the prick--something that helps in this type of competition.
You could stand inside my shoes:
You'd know what a drag it is
To see you.
The Coen brothers certainly know these two songs. And it is these, much more than DVR (whose reputation is one of a rather friendly man), that lie behind the personality they created for the movie.
In the intro to this live version of "The Gaslight Rag," DVR pokes a little fun at David Bromberg (who he admired) and then at his best friend, fellow "folkie" Patrick Sky. He had fun, something that never seems a part of Llewyn Davis: