Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Musical Interlude

One of the great things about living with Ev is that, every so often when I get in my car to go somewhere after she's been driving it, something wonderful and unexpected comes out of my stereo. Sometimes it's something I've never heard, sometimes it's a new rendition of something I have, and often it's something I've forgotten I loved. Tonight was sort of a jackpot.

I got in my car to run errands and I couldn't find my usual NPR station. After flipping up and down the dial a couple of times and finding only the Jesus stations, I punched the input button and a CD that's been in there for a little while started playing. We've had it on while we did other things, but I hadn't paid a whole lot of attention to it, and cut 11 wasn't really doing a lot for me, so I hit the "next" button and heard ... really heard ... an old standard sung by Rosanne Cash, and then remembered Ev telling me the story of her latest album, "The List" ...

"When I was 18, I was on the road with my dad. One day, we were sitting in the tour bus, talking about songs, and he mentioned a song, and I said, "I don’t know that one." He mentioned another one, and I said, "I don’t know that one, either." Then he started to get alarmed, so he spent the rest of the day making a list on a legal pad, and at the top he put "100 Essential Country Songs." And he handed it to me and he said, "This is your education."

‘It just didn’t interest me," she says. "I learned all the songs, but then I set on my own course as a songwriter, and set about separating myself from my parents, as you do when you’re young."

The year was 1973 and it took her a little over three decades, and brain surgery that put an end to her songwriting for over a year, to get back to those "essential country songs."

I guess I've always known this song, but never fully appreciated it before. I love the way the chorus slowly climbs less than an octave in whole steps up and half steps back, like a country waltz, combined with a unique rhyme scheme in the lyrics that just rocks my socks off. Have a listen. You'll be happy.


Anonymous said...

Oooh, I liked that. I heard about this album and thought about getting it. Now I might just have to.


Anonymous said...

I heard an interview with Roseanne Cash on Fresh Air --- wonderful wonderful. She has such an amazing voice.