"Diamonds & Rust" is a song written and performed by Joan Baez - it was released in 1975, but had been written the previous November.
In the song, Baez recounts an out-of-the-blue phone call from an old lover, which sends her a decade back in time, to a "crummy" hotel in Greenwich Village; she recalls giving him a pair of cuff-links, and summarizes that memories bring "diamonds and rust" (i.e. time leaves us with both happy and bad memories).
The song, which was a top-40 hit for Baez on the U.S. pop singles chart, is regarded by a number of critics, as well as by Baez fans, as one of her best compositions. It served as the title song on Baez's gold-selling Diamonds & Rust album in 1975.
For her 1995 live recording Ring Them Bells, Baez performed the song as a duet with Mary Chapin Carpenter. In that performance, she changed the end lines: "And if you're / offering me diamonds and rust / I've already paid," to: "And if you... well I'll take the diamonds." And also : "I bought you some cuff links, you brought me something" turned out to be "I bought you some cuff links, you brought me troubles" And on 25 February 2009, in Austin, she sang it, "And if you... well I'll take the...