“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Hank Williams (1949)

4 12 2016

Loneliness is awful. It’s different than just being alone.

Most people can be alone for awhile, but feeling alone is much more intense than merely being alone.

Humans are pack animals, we run in groups and clans. Long-term isolation can take its toll.

My suggestion is to make as many good friends as you can. People who know you. Who can make you laugh, but who also can see pain or worry in your eyes hidden behind that laughter.

Then make a real effort to stay in touch with these friends. And be there for them, so they will be there for you.

Then, perhaps, you won’t ever need to sing this song by the great Hank Williams:

“I’ve never seen a night so long
When time goes crawling by
The moon just went behind the clouds
To hide its face and cry”





“Man In Black” by Johnny Cash (1971)

12 11 2013

Not much anyone can add to Mr. Cash’s music. He says it pretty plainly.

Written and recorded during the Vietnam War, the song is something of a manifesto. The manifesto of a good man speaking up for what’s right.

Naturally, he’s something of a hero of mine.

“Oh, I’d love to wear a rainbow everyday
And tell the world that everything’s okay
But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back
‘Til things are brighter, I’m the man in black.”

cash





“Nobody Knows Me” by Lyle Lovett (1989)

23 02 2009

Lyle Lovett is considered by many to be a country and western artist, hailing from Texas and playing a lot of music in that style.  But I didn’t know that when I picked up his 1989 album, “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band,” an album full of wonderful big band jazz and blues tracks.  This song comes from that record, and it stands out in its stark simplicity.  An absolutely beautiful song.

Mr. Lovett is one of those artists who bends genres to create something altogether fresh and inspiring.  Maybe it’s his musical adventurousness, or the fact that his songs are so good that they stand on their own and translate well to any style of music.  Whatever it is Mr. Lovett has, I wish I had some of it.

Add Mr. Lovett to our list of national treasures.





“The Man’s Too Strong” by Dire Straits (1985)

4 01 2009

Dire Straits has a unique and, I think, incredible sound.   Mixing elements of blues, bluegrass and jazz into a modern rock soup, they’ve put out some stunning records, and one of my favorites is “Brothers In Arms,” the album from which this track comes.

Mark Knopfler, the singer and guitarist, has always set himself apart from other “modern” guitarists, favoring fingerpicking over power chords (he is reportedly a Chet Atkins fan).  It’s just a lot of fun to hear him play, especially in the context of the wonderful music Dire Straits has given us.

The subdued tone of this track lulls us into a false sense of security, until everything explodes upon Knopfler’s realization:  “The man’s too big/The man’s too strong.”

Pretty intense for a track without any drums.  It still knocks the wind out of me today.

(thanks to rossenpomakov for posting this track on YouTube–and from a vinyl LP no less!)





“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Hank Williams, Sr. (1949)

31 12 2008

Hank Williams was another legend of American music.  Not “just” a country legend, but a cornerstone of much of the music we hear today.  It may sound kind of raw to our modern ears, maybe a little simplistic, but that’s what makes it so profound.  While other composers of the day were using clever word play, or stretching metaphors to their limits, Mr. Williams could shoot right to the heart of the matter, literally for fans like me.

Did you ever see a robin weep
When leaves begin to die
That means he’s lost the will to live
I’m so lonesome I could cry

If you’re not careful, this song will break your heart.  Sixty years after it was composed.





“Ring of Fire” performed by Ray Charles (1970)

15 12 2008

I just have to post some more Ray Charles.  Seriously, sweetheart, if you can feel his music in your bones, you’re set for life.

This is his cover of “Ring of Fire,” and it’s sublime.  “Ring of Fire” was Johnny Cash’s anthem, and only someone like Ray Charles could so successfully explode it into his own direction.

So, indulge me.  A little more Ray.  It’s good for your soul.





“Crazy” performed by Patsy Cline (1961)

25 11 2008

Patsy Cline is not only a country legend, but a giant of American music.  She is a hero to many musicians, from all genres of music.  And it is well-deserved.  Just listen to her heart, it’s all there in her voice!

The song was written by the master, Willie Nelson.  We’ll get to him soon.

I read once that “Crazy” is THE most-played song on jukeboxes in America.  Again, it is well-deserved, and it makes me tremendously happy that so many people adore this wonderful song and Ms Cline’s extraordinary gift.

I hope you like it too.

(thanks to crazy4patsycline for the YouTube upload)