Lives Lost in Song

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paddyinthepub
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Lives Lost in Song

Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:58 pm

Singer Songwriters have a gift for telling stories of love won and love lost as well as lives lived and lives lost. This thread is a look at lives lost.

If you know a song where the folks in it are either no longer with us or wind up not surviving by song's end. It's a look at how the subject of death is covered in song.

Here's a couple.

The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald.....Gordon Lightfoot

It's weird how I sang along to this catchy tune forever as a youngster with out giving much thought to the tragedy that had befelled so many aboard that vessel.

Hurricane.....David Wilcox

I just have always liked DW's music and this song deals with a girl who loses her life by song's end. I'm not sure if Rocket Bike is real or metaphor for something else, but in the song it's her last ride.

There's a song David Wilcox covers that deals with death. It's a song by Bob Franke that just floored me when I heard it the first time. I heard Bob's version first and was not surprised when David covered it a short time later. This song pulls no punches and the first lyric you here in the song is Death.

For Real.....Bob Franke

I'll try this from memory....it's been many years since I've even thought of this song.

Death took the husband of a neighbor of mine, on a highway with a drunk at the wheel. She said "keep your clean hands off the laundry he left and don't tell me you know how I feel." She had a tape that he'd sent her from a Holiday Inn though she never played it much in the day, but when I heard him say he loved her thru the window at night, I just stayed the hell away.
Last edited by paddyinthepub on Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:18 am, edited 6 times in total.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
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Lauren
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Postby Lauren » Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:01 pm

I'll start with the obvious Death song, the one that usually starts his discussion on his apparent fascination with death...:

Jukebox On My Grave

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Postby paddyinthepub » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:12 am

John Gorka pays homage to his dad in memorium in the song Semper Fi.
Great harmony by David Wilcox. I believe Franklin D is also immortalized forever in this song.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
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death

Postby care » Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:54 pm

Where Have all the Flowers Gone - PPM

thats the first one that pops into my mind... i'm sure more will come.

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Postby bonuela » Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:08 pm

Kiss The Sun by EP mentions Pat Tillman

Wesley Why by Matt Wertz is about the death of his grandfather. It is a beautiful song. It really evokes the feeling of emptiness caused by seeing belongings that are mid use even though their owner is gone.

"Your glasses on the table, your shoes are on the stairs."

"Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" by some comedian or other.
I felt I needed to lighten things up after that other song. :P
I let my music take me where my heart wants to go. ~ Cat Stevens

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Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:10 pm

Bringin it down again with apologies. The Rising lp by Bruce Springsteen was an amazing group of songs to the human spirit that surrounded the tragedy that was 911.

You're Missing comes to mind.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
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Postby paddyinthepub » Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:25 am

It's a Blackie Ferrel song covered well by 2 of my faves.

Robert Earl Keen

Richard Shindell

Both do justice to the song: Sonora's Death Row
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby paddyinthepub » Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:18 am

Suzanne
The plans we made
put an end to you



From the song ~ Fire and Rain ~ by James Taylor
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby paddyinthepub » Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:27 am

This song is by Tom Campbell and Steve Gillette.

If you have ever loved and lost, you know the pain. It can at times be unbearable. It was for young Vandy in this tale. I fell hard for this song and Steve Gillette's sound long about Kerrville years ago. I was surprised to learn John Denver put the song on 4 of his albums. Nanci Griffith also covered this fine, fine song.

Darcy Farrow
(Tom Campbell & Steve Gillette)



Where the Walker runs down into the Carson Valley plain
There lived a young maiden Darcy Farrow was her name
The daughter of old Dundee and a fair one was she
The sweetest flower that bloomed o'er the range

She was courted by young Vandermeer
And quite handsome was he I am to hear
He brought her silver rings and lacy things
And they promised to marry before the snows came that year

But her pony did stumble and she did fall
Her dyin' touched the hearts of us, one and all
Young Vandy in his pain put a bullet in his brain
And we buried them together as the snows began to fall

They sing of Darcy Farrow where the Truckee runs through
They sing of her beauty in Virginia City too
At dusty sundown to her name they drink a round
And to young Vandy whose love was true

Where the Walker runs down into the Carson Valley plain
There lived a young maiden Darcy Farrow was her name
The daughter of old Dundee and a fair one was she
The sweetest flower that bloomed o'er the range
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby paddyinthepub » Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:21 am

One song in particular fits this category well, and it's from a film by Martin Scorcese. "The Last Waltz" is a wonderful insight into - and concert film - of "The Band" performing their last ever concert. Guest performers included Neil Diamond - Neil Young - Joni Mitchell - Van Morrison - Eric Clapton - Muddy Waters - Dr. John - and more.

The song "Long Black Veil" is performed by The Band and I believe features a duet vocal by Emmylou Harris. A great film, a great song.

Because my intro to this song was The Band's version, I always assumed they had written it. Now I'm not so sure. On the radio last week I heard a version of it by a young Johnny Cash. I suppose he could have been covering it, but now I'm wondering if maybe it was The Band who was covering Johnny Cash.

Why the dearly departed had to die in this song is just chilling.

Great song......who wrote it??? Hmmn, anybody?
Last edited by paddyinthepub on Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
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Postby PotatoPicker » Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:13 am

Written by: Marijohn Wilkin and Danny Dill

The following information concerning "The Long Black Veil" comes from "Lefty Frizzell--The Honky-tonk Life of Country Music's Greatest Singer" by Daniel Cooper (Little, Brown 1995) (for information about the lyrics, see the comments by their composer Danny Dill in "Sing Your Heart Out, Country Boy" by Dorothy Horstman (New York, Pocket Books, 1976):
"Cigarettes and Coffee Blues" had just faded from earshot when Lefty hit Nashville for the March 1959 session. He brought David [his brother] with him, and also a tough little honky-tonk number that he and Eddie Miller co-wrote called "She Will Be the Chaser for the Wine." That left three tunes to find to complete the standard four-song session. Law [Don Law, his producer] and Lefty set up an informal listening room in in Law's suite in the James Robertson Hotel, then put the word on the street that they were looking for songs. Before long, Law's living room chairs and couch was were shoulder-to-shoulder with Music City pickers and song pluggers. With no more than a couple of hours left before the start of Lefty's session, a songwriter-pianist nmaed Marijohn Wilkin showed up at Law's door. A former Oklahoma English teacher, and a newcomer to Nashville, she had, in just six months' time, been signed to the sizzling Cedarwood publishing company and hired as their resident song plugger. One of the sharpest minds and most brilliant songwriting talents ever to grace the streets of Music City, Wilkin had already impressed Law once with "Waterloo," which she co-wrote with John D. Loudermilk. But this time she was representing Cedarwood's interests in general, not just her own tunes. She listened patiently while the resident old boys strummed their guitars, growing antsier with each dull tune they tried to get Law and Lefty to take. Finally, unable to contain herself any longer, Wilkin pulled Don Law aside and whispered, "Danny Dill and I have a better song than any of these."

The song she had in mind was "The Long Black Veil." The lyrics, written by Opry veteran Danny Dill, tell the story of a man wrongfully convicted of murder who goes to the gallows rather than compromise his lover -- his best friend's wife -- in whose arms he'd be lying when the crime was committed. The song's central Gothic image is of the grieving adulteress walking the hills "in a long black veil," returning over and over to her hanged lover's grave. Dill drew the simple tale from several sources, including stories he had read of a woman who supposedly haunted Rudolph Valentino's grave. But what gives the lyrics their subtle power is the unspoken conceit--the same ploy used in the movie "Sunset Boulevard"--of having the story narrated from beyond the vale of tears. The voice you hear singing "The Long Black Veil" is that of a ghost.

Instead of putting his own music to the words, Dill took the song to Wilkin at Cedarwood and literally slung the lyric sheet across her desk. "I wrote this thing last night," he said. "I don't know if it's any good or not. If you like it, why, put a tune to it. If you don't, why, throw it in the wastebasket."

Wilkin read the eerie lyrics and got cold chills from head to foot. "I just put that sheet of music up on the piano and started playing, and just sang that thing out. And it just rolled right out."

That was in the morning. By late afternoon, Wilkin was pitching "The Long Black Veil" to Lefty and Law at Law's suite. "Well, swee-tie," the producer said, his eyebrows arched and his English accent rolling off his tongue, "play us a tape."
"We don't have one," Wilkin admitted. "We just wrote it."
"Well, how does it go?"
"We'll just have to stand here and sing it to you."

While the other pluggers shifted in their seats, guitars inert, Wilkin followed Law and Lefty into the kitchen and sang "The Long Black Veil" to them a cappella. "Mr. Law and Lefty both just flipped over it," she says. And they said, "That's the best song we've got."
Jeff

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Postby paddyinthepub » Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:34 pm

Nice find Jeff, and thanks ever so much.....WOW...who knew?
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
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Postby paddyinthepub » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:29 am

Harris and The Mare ~ Stan Rogers

Stan Rogers music made it's way on to my musical radar back in the late 80's via a public radio station in Houston, Tx. Many fine albums and songs, some of them that just give me the chills. This is one of them.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby paddyinthepub » Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:46 am

The Legend Of Andrew McCrew ~ Don McLean ~ from Homeless Brother

Who are you, who are you?
Where have you been, where are you going to?
Andrew McCrew must have lost his way
Though he died long ago he was buried today



True Story..... :shock:
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby paddyinthepub » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:12 am

This is also based on a true story:


Here Comes The Water ~ Chuck Pyle ~ Step By Step

Based on the heavy rainstorms that hit the Hill Country of Texas outside of San Antonio some years back. Seems one of the local State troopers was instumental in racing up and down the low lying area warning folks of the impending danger with the rising river, only to be trapped in his car, and ultimately drowning. His heroic last moments in life were broadcast over the police bands as he clearly states: Here Comes The Water.

This is a must hear song and artist and album.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

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Postby paddyinthepub » Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:17 am

Because of the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech, and Ellis pointing us to his myspace to hear Autobiography of a Pistol to help open a dialouge about gun control laws in this country......I listened with a new found appreciation for the song.

For perhaps all too obvious reasons, when the song starts out, an old song came rushing back into my head and heart. It's the attention grabbing way in which both Ellis' song and this one starts out. It's as if the opening riffs are a call to attention, like the artists are saying "listen up, because this is important".

It was another sad time in our nation's history. The song addresses the tragic deaths of four college students on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio. They died from gunshot wounds after National Guardsmen opened fire on the crowd, gathered there on that day in protest of the Vietnam War.

4 Dead In Ohio ~ Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy


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