The whole first album was recorded in just one day on October 6th, 1988 ("on well water...no juice" as Vic noted in the liner notes) with just basic acoustic guitar, croaking vocals, 'Dylanesque' harmonica, elementary keyboards and sparse overdubs.
The story goes that Michael Stipe would frequent Vic's Tuesday night residencies at the famed 40 Watt Club, in Athens. He was impressed by the quality and sheer volume of material that Vic performed during those shows and decided to commit some songs down on tape. It's doubtful that this was the first song recorded during those sessions, but it undoubtably, a beauty of an opener.
Vic once introduced this song as a 'bummer', but I can't imagine why. The melody is gorgeous, and musically it's a perfect representation of that period in Vic's life. His voice is shredding and unique. Just listen to his Southen gothic drawl on the word 'attitude.' His singing, even that early, was formidable and daunting.
Lyrically, the song is an unusual tet a tete involving love, romance, sarcasm and rejection. It was born out of a dare, from Vic's old La Di Da's bandmate Todd McBride, to write a song with the line "Once I dreamed I was dancing with Isadora Duncan." Vic once mentioned to me, that he hadn't listened to "Little" since the day it was recorded. If that is true, then it is unfortunate. What he crafted from that challenge is sheer poetry, in my opinion, and a song that echoes in my head for days on end. A beauty of an opener for a beauty of an album and worth repeated listening.
Lyrics and link below.
Also check out the fantastic cover, by the band Jolene, from their 1995 album "Hell's Half Acre."
Further reading... "Isadora Speaks"