Summer has finally made it’s way here: the day is clear and we’re going to hit 80. (I realize that’s spring for you Texas folks.) Since I wrote about “Angel from Montgomery,” I’ve had songs on my mind and have now spent the better part of the morning perusing Youtube to see what I can find to share of some of my favorite songs and performers.
“Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen
I love this song because of the experience of seeing him live and getting to sing along with “Show a little faith — there’s magic in the night . . .” This ranks up there as one the best ballads around.
From one Bruce to another, here’s Bruce Cockburn’s “Lovers in a Dangerous Time.”
The video shows quickly that the album came out in the Eighties; the lyrics are timeless:
Don’t the hours grow shorter as the days go by
You never get to stop and open your eyes
One day you’re waiting for the sky to fall
The next you’re dazzled by the beauty of it all
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
Following the lovers theme, here’s an amazing clip of John Hiatt singing “Have a Little Faith in Me.”
Hiatt’s touring partner this summer is Shawn Colvin. “I Don’t Know Why” is one of her most beautiful melodies.
I don’t know why
The trees grow so tall
And I don’t know why
I don’t know anything at all
But if there were no music
Then I would not get through
I don’t know why
I know these things, but I do
Those words are true for me. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “The Moon and Saint Christopher” is one of those essential melodies, covered here by Mary Black.
Pierce Pettis has made a point of covering at least one Mark Heard song on each of his CDs since Heard’s death fifteen years ago. “Nod Over Coffee” is at the top of the list.
If we could see with wiser eyes
What is good and what is sad and what is true
Still it would not be enough
Could never be enough
So we nod over coffee and say goodbye
Bolt the door it’s time to go
Into the car with the radio on
Roll down the window and blow the horn
The video begins with a very old clip of Pierce playing the song with Mark.
Here’s an old clip of Nanci Griffith and John Prine singing his song, “The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness.” He must be a great songwriter — he rhymed surly and curly.
One last song. Emmylou Harris wrote one of her best songs out of her grief at Gram Parson’s death. This song, “Boulder to Birmingham,” lives deep down inside me.
I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham
I would hold my life in his saving grace.
I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham
If I thought I could see, I could see your face.
Perhaps the words feel a little melancholy for a summer day, but they’re music to my ears and my heart.
Thanks, Milton. This is like getting one of those mix tapes we used to make for each other.
This is so lovely. I’m saving it up as a treat for the next few days.
But the siren call is strong and is telling me to put off the housework and come listen NOW, but so far I’ve resisted (except for the Springsteen)!
“I Don’t Know Why” by Shawn Colvin is one of my all-time favorite songs. I first heard it on a compilation CD of love songs that I picked up on a whim. I agree; those words are true for me as well. Love the video! Thanks for digging it up.
Haha, I exchanged CD’s with a friend of mine Saturday. She put Pierce Pettis and Shawn Colvin plus many others, I gave her Patty Griffin, Eliza Gilkyson, Bob Schneider and others.
Now I listened to Thunder Road but then had to flip over to hear Jungleland…beneath the city two hearts beat.
Wow, you’ve got some of my favorite singers/songs on your list!
Thank you! The haunting voice of Mary Black has been a wonderful way to start the morning.
Thank you for your blog, too. I always come away feeling somehow nourished.
I agree on all accounts. Great choices all the way around. And I’m about to drive from Boulder to Birmingham soon.
And you’ve got to check out Paul Potts. Will make you feel great.
We love so much of the same music. Thanks for all of these clips, especially the one with Pierce Pettis. I can hardly believe Mark Heard has been gone 15 years.