Just some tunes I love …
Boxcar by Shovels and Rope (Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent)
Aint it just like you and me to go down like that?
Bleeding out in a boxcar shot in the back.
We were all that luck(?) all that time
Lord was waiting for us at the end of the line.
Any minute now we knew we were going to have to decide.
Take a fat chance come out gunning.
Get out now and try to keep running down south.
Til she said hey hey cut the rope
No way we’re gonna let them get us both
Don’t stop running til we reach that coast
Let your pretty momma go up in smoke
Caddo County by Verlon Thompson
And you can’t change Caddo County
And you can stay, or you can go
But you can’t change Caddo County
That same old wind will always blow
My dad said son let me tell you right now
You don’t have to follow that same old plow
Said there’s a big old world cross that county line
And you can come home any time you change your mind — Verlon Thompson
Enough Rope by Chris Knight
I recently remembered that I used to listen to Chris Knight all the time. I always loved how he would write about his hometown and the people he grew up with. I found a video of the song Enough Rope and I’m now listening to it over and over again. Here’s the link. I also love a song of his called It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Me — It’s a great one too.
Well I’m thankful for the things I have,
And all the things I don’t.
And I’ve got dreams that will come true,
And I’ve got some that won’t.
Most the time I just walk the line- wherever it goes.
‘Cuz you can’t hang yourself if you ain’t got enough rope. — Chris Knight and Austin Cunningham
Nothing to Nobody by Robben Ford
Nathan introduced me to Robben Ford and I’m so glad he did! I love the jazzy blues sound he has. I would encourage you to check it out. I like to play it while I’m hanging out in the kitchen watching Nathan cook. These lyrics below really resonate with me for some reason.
I’m a father to my children
I’m a husband to my wife
Seems I been something to somebody
Every day of my life
This is part of a master plan
It don’t do much to preserve a man
I’d like to see
What it feels like to be
Nothin’ to nobody
I’m a keeper to my brother
I’m my mama’s fair haired boy
People, I would rather be
nobody’s pride and joy
No man is an island so they say
But if I could go there for just one day
I’d like to see
What it feels like to be
Nothin’ to nobody
Robben Ford, Michael McDonald — Writers
Wilder than Her by Fred Eaglesmith
We saw Fred Eaglesmith at the Old Settlers Reunion last year and fell in love with his songs. The harmonies are superb. I remembered two songs specifically from his set — Pontiac and this one Wilder than Her. Check him out if you get a chance.
And I’m wilder than her
Drives her out of her mind
I guess she thought that she was one of a kind
But she’s a summer storm
I’m a hurricane
One just blows through town
One blows the town away
And I’m wilder than her
I keep meaning to add a Townes Van Zandt song here, but it’s so hard to choose just one. He’s one of my all-time favorites and if you haven’t seen Heartworn Highways, a movie made back in the 70s with Townes, Guy Clark and several other songwriters, you should see it immediately. There are many lines worth quoting from that movie. The soundtrack of the same name is also great. Townes’ songs are amazing and he definitely died too soon. If you like great songwriting, look him up. Or, if you are like me and need to dust off some old tunes and relax, make sure to listen to Loretta.
Oh loretta she’s a barroom girl
Wears them sevens on her sleeve
Dances like a diamond shines
Tell me lies I love to believe
Her age is always 22
Her laughing eyes a hazel hue
Spends my money like water falls
Loves me like I want her to — Townes Van Zandt
Witness to Your Life by Lori McKenna
I have a crazy obsession with reading Lori McKenna’s lyrics. She is one of my favorite writers and I’m always so impressed that she is a mother of five who found the time to follow her passion. I’ve listened to interviews where she says she wrote many of her songs thinking that no one would ever hear them, so she was completely free to express herself. I admire that greatly. There is such realism in her lyrics. I could go on and on, but I’m going to stop now.
You got that job and joined the Union
Fought every urge that told you to run
Stared down the barrel of an empty gun – and wondered a bit
Stopped listening to all your friends
They think this is where life begins and ends
No one reaches, no one transcends – they just learn to live with it
All you really need is someone to be here
Someone who never lets you disappear
And I will be that witness to your life
You should never have to be alone
Someone will always call you home
And I will be that witness to your life — Lori McKenna
Who Am I to Say by Justin Townes Earle
I love Justin Earle’s music and can’t believe I have waited so long to suggest you take a listen. To me, his sound is somewhat mature without losing the perspective of a young man.
Well now who am I to say?
I’ve been trouble almost all my life
I took pleasure in such things most wouldn’t entertain not at the darkest of times
So you take your pills and poison
Drink yourself to death
Give yourself away until you ain’t got nothing left
Because who am I to say that there’s anything wrong with that
Sweet Ride by Courtney Jaye
I just started listening to Courtney Jaye and I really like her. I especially like this song Sweet Ride and another song called Don’t Tell A Girl. Look her up on YouTube or Myspace and let me know what you think.
it can be a sweet ride
it can be a long drop
it can take a wrong turn right to a dead end
it can make your heart stop
it can lead nowhere
you wont know unless you go there
it can be one more goodbye
or it can be a sweet ride — Courtney Jaye
The Way I Am by Merle Haggard
I sometimes feel like Merle Haggard is my grandpa. I know it sounds strange, but I really feel like he’s a bona fide member of my family. It may be because he was my first concert when I was eight years old and the fact that I have spent the rest of my life stalking him at concerts across the US. I especially enjoyed seeing his show in Las Vegas because he wore a pink dinner jacket and my friend Lisa and I were the youngest people there. For as long as I can remember, my grandmother has had a Merle Haggard picture (minus the cigarette) hanging in her living room. I’m sure this has something to do with my fascination. His picture was joined in the 80’s by a really nice picture of George Strait. 🙂
Wish I was down on some blue bayou,
With a bamboo cane stuck in the sand.
But the road I’m on, don’t seem to go there,
So I just dream, keep on bein’ the way I am.
Wish I enjoyed what makes my living,
Did what I do with a willin’ hand.
Some would run, ah, but that ain’t like me.
So I just dream and keep on bein’ the way I am — Merle Haggard
Rain by Patty Griffin
My friend Angee and I approach Patty Griffin as sort of a religion. We listen to her with great reverence. Yes, we like other artists — but then there is Patty. The song Rain is the first song I ever listened to by Patty — I went right out and bought all of her albums immediately. I suggest you do the same!
It’s hard to listen to a hard hard heart
Beating close to mine
Pounding up against the stone and steel
Walls that I won’t climb
Sometimes a hurt is so deep deep deep
You think that you’re gonna drown
Sometimes all I can do is weep weep weep
With all this rain falling down
Strange how hard it rains now
Rows and rows of big dark clouds
When I’m holding on underneath this shroud
— by Patty Griffin
Ain’t No Reason by Brett Dennen
I like the lyrics in this song. His newest album is called Hope for the Hopeless.
Keep on buildin’ prisons, gonna fill them all,
Keep on buildin’ bombs, gonna drop them all.
Working your fingers bare to the bone,
Breaking your back, make you sell your soul.
Like a lung that’s filled with coal, suffocatin’ slow.
The wind blows wild and I may move,
The politicians lie and I am not fooled.
You don’t need no reason or a three piece suit to argue the truth.
The air on my skin and the world under my toes,
Slavery stitched into the fabric of my clothes,
Chaos and commotion wherever I go, love I try to follow.
Love will come set me free — Brett Dennen
Jesus, Etc. by Jeff Tweedy (Wilco)
I have always loved Wilco – especially Jeff Tweedy and especially this song. It takes me back to several trips to Austin, Texas and a great group of friends. In fact, if you don’t own Yankee Foxtrot Hotel, you should get it! Today. Seriously. It’s a great road-tripping album. There’s also a DVD about the making of the album — I am Trying to Break Your Heart, a film by Sam Jones. It features a few interviews with the late Jay Bennett and some great moments with Jeff Tweedy.
Jesus, don’t cry
You can rely on me, honey
You can combine anything you want
I’ll be around
You were right about the stars
Each one is a setting sun
Tall buildings shake
Voices escape singing sad sad songs
Tuned to chords
Strung down your cheeks
Bitter melodies turning your orbit around
Speed of the Sound of Loneliness by John Prine
I love John Prine and this is one of my favorite songs. I must admit that I prefer Nanci Griffin’s version of it to Prine’s. I think I’ve always loved the line, “you come home straight and you come home curly.” There are lots of covers of this song on YouTube so look it up!
You come home late and you come home early
You come on big when you’re feeling small
You come home straight and you come home curly
Sometimes you don’t come home at all
— John Prine
Old Friends by Guy Clark
Just hung up the phone after talking to my best friend Lisa. Made me think of this great song by Guy Clark. The picture above is from the album of the same name. I recommend buying every Guy Clark album ever made. Here’s a few lines from Old Friends …
Old Friends they shine like diamonds
Old Friends you can always call
Old Friends Lord you can’t buy ’em
You know it’s Old Friends after all
— Guy Clark
Broken Things by Julie Miller
You can have my heart
If you don’t mind broken things
You can have my life if you don’t mind these tears
Well I heard that you make old things new
So I give these pieces all to you
If you want it you can have my heart — Julie Miller