Mister Can't You See
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|"Mister Can't You See"|
|Single by Buffy Sainte-Marie|
|from the album Moonshot|
Townes Van Zandt
"Mister Can't You See" is a song written by Mickey Newbury and Townes Van Zandt that first appeared on Newbury's 1968 debut album Harlequin Melodies. Newbury's original version was slow and dominated by strings and a very simple drumbeat, with his voice telling a tale of nature's power and beauty. The actual title of the song comes from the line "can't you see the river flowing".
Owing to a major promotional campaign by Vanguard Records, eager to make up for losses incurred with past Sainte-Marie albums, the label promoted the single vigorously and as a result it became Sainte-Marie's only single or album to reach the Top 75 on Billboard. It peaked at #38 on the Pop Singles chart and #29 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Sainte-Marie's version is much shorter than Newbury's original and is more straight-ahead rock with the Memphis Horns especially prominent.