Thursday playlist: Country time, mostly

1. Out Of The Silence (Came A Song) – Porter Wagoner
2. Listen To The Radio – Nanci Griffith
3. You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere – The Byrds
4. Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind) – Loretta Lynn
5. Sin City – The Flying Burrito Brothers
6. Harper Valley P.T.A. – Jeannie C. Riley
7. Albuquerque – Neil Young
8. Needle Of Death – Yo La Tengo
9. Jolene – Dolly Parton
10. May It Always Be – Bonnie “Prince” Billy
11. Anyhow I love You – Guy Clark
12. Lay Lady Lay – Bob Dylan
13. Four Empty Bottles – Charlie Tweddle
14. Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies Be Cowboys – Kenny RogersWaylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
15. Señor (Tales of Yankee Power) – Willie Nelson & Calexico
16. Sign on the Window – Jennifer Warnes
17. Crazy, Crazy Nights – Susanna And The Magical Orchestra
18. Albuquerque – Gillian Welch

(For a limited time, you can download the songs here.)

Okay, I know most of you probably already know and love most of these songs, but I offer them as a playlist for relational enjoyment. And there are a few things here you might not have heard.

I used to hate country music, because in New Mexico listening to country music marked you as some kind of hick. And there is a lot of terrible country music out there, and not just the new stuff (which is almost universally terrible if we’re talking about pop country). But damn, that lonesome Western sound got in my blood somehow.

The first track is really a tribute to Jen’s post of yesterday, kind of an earlier version of that chain email. It was written by Dolly Parton! The Nanci Griffith is one of my all-time favorites. But help me figure it out — it sounds like she’s saying “Brigham Young guides my hand to the radio,” but that can’t be right, so what is she saying?

One antidote to the sexism of a lot of country music is the kick-ass women who take no shit from nobody. “Listen to the Radio” is a nice example, as are “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin'” and, famously, “Harper Valley P.T.A.” “Jolene” doesn’t easily yield to a feminist reading, but it’s such a great song — a good karaoke choice, too, by the way.

Some of the songs here aren’t exactly country but sounded good on the mix anyway. “Albuquerque” contains a fine example of Neil Young’s plainspoken poetry: “I’ll find somewhere / where they don’t care / who I am.” Yo La Tengo’s cover of “Needle of Death” is heartbreaking; the original contains some tasty pedal-steel playing. Bonnie “Prince” Billy gets caught rocking much more than usual. And the Susanna track is awesomely haunting.

Lots of Dylan on the mix, I’m afraid. This version of “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” is a song I’m slowly learning on the pedal steel. I love this version of “Sign on the Window,” and Willie Nelson and Calexico present possibly the definitive recording of “Señor (Tales of Yankee Power).”

Anyway, hope you like it.

25 responses to “Thursday playlist: Country time, mostly”

  1. Marleyfan says:

    Dave, that was the best play list EVER! If you would have added a little Merle, I’d skip work today, and lay in bed listening to this playlist on repeat.
    I’d never heard Suzanna and the magical orchestra before, verycool. I can’t say I really liked this version of May it always be, probably because the original is one of my favorite songs. And the Byrd’s version of You ain’t going nowhere brought me home. And to add a little Neil Young in the morning starts the day off right. Just a little clarification, this version of Momma’s don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys isn’t Kenny Rogers, it’s Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.

  2. Dave says:

    Ah, thanks for the correction, Marleyfan. You’re totally right — my iTunes is wrong. And glad you liked it.

    I forgot to say in my writeup that the Guy Clark song here is one of my top 10 favorite songs ever. It’s got Emmylou and, at the end, Waylon singing backup.

  3. Scotty says:

    …I’d skip work today, and lay in bed listening to this playlist on repeat.

    So you’d Lay Marley Lay?

  4. swells says:

    Whom do you think’s gonna be the one to say “Um, it’s ‘lie'”–me, or Tim?

    Oh, i guess it’s me . . .

  5. Tim says:

    Yeah, that would be you, Wells.

    Yesterday I wrote to Jen on the sly to praise her for her semicolon usage in a comment; I probably should have done it out in the open, just like a construction worker might. “Hey, lady, nice semicolon!”

    P.S. Wouldn’t it be “Who do you think . . . “, not “Whom”? The case of the pronoun there is ruled by its usage as the subject in the “is gonna be” clause. Poindexter, c’est moi!

    P.P.S. Nice playlist! Downloading it now.

  6. Tim says:

    Dang, what an insufferable pr*ck I can be, when it comes to grammar.

    Hey Dave, that’s a great version of “Albuquerque” by Gillian Welch. Does she have a live album out? Last time I saw her she did an amazing version of “Tired Eyes,” also from Tonight’s the Night, with David Rawlings doing the lead vocal.

  7. swells says:

    I”m not sure–I think “who” (which I originally wrote) is the object of the verb “think.” Therefore, “whom.”

    At a wedding this weekend I saw an old friend I haven’t seen in over ten years. Someone misused “less” in front of him and he turned to me and said “Wow, that would have bothered your friend Tim, huh? I always remember how mad he’d get about people mixing up ‘less’ and ‘fewer’.” (He meant it as a huge compliment, by the way.)

  8. swells says:

    And yes, I know I have some single-double-quotation mark issues in that last one.

  9. ssw says:

    Happy B-Day shout out to Dave BAHBAH

  10. LT says:

    I’m taking a linguistics class this semester (oh joy), and Swells is correct on the “whom”.

    One antidote to the sexism of a lot of country music is the kick-ass women who take no shit from nobody.

    Hell yeah. I grew up with old CW– and used to sing the Shelly West song about tequila at the top of my lungs in the back yard. Talk about kick-ass:

    Did I kiss all the cowboys?
    Did I shoot out the lights?
    Did I dance on the bar?
    Did I start any fights?

    Love this play list, Dave. Happiest day to you.

  11. Tim says:

    Hmmm . . .

    I’ve always been taught to unpack and/or reverse tricky constructions to see if the case still works. “Do you think him would be the one to correct the grammar problem?” Yikes. No. I’m tentatively sticking to my guns on this one.

    Also, that Charlie Tweddle song is awesome. Usually I dislike I’d never heard of him.

  12. Dave says:

    Thanks for the birthday wishes!

    Tim is right. The pronoun “who” is the subject of “gonna be the one to say…”

    But I don’t understand “Usually I dislike I’d never heard of him.”

  13. Marleyfan says:

    I don’t lie in bed Scotty, I get lied to.

    And Happy Birthday, indeed. Party On.

  14. bryan says:

    I was certain you were going to say, “I get laid.” But “lied to” is pretty good, to.

    Grammar wars on TGW! I side with Tim on this one, but it’s not personal, I promise!

  15. Tim says:

    “Usually I dislike I’d never heard of him,” is Norwegian for “Happy Birthday, Dave!”

  16. “Usually I dislike I’d never heard of him,” is Norwegian for “Happy Birthday, Dave!”

    No it’s not!

    All the same, I’ve come to wish you Glad Fødselsdag, Davey.

  17. LT says:

    Okay, I went back and studied the book: the he/him reversal trick isn’t a standing rule, but the who/whom as object of the verb stands up to linguistic patterns. And…um…I stand corrected– “who” is the object of “is gonna be”; “you” works with “think.” Sorry, Ms. Wells.

  18. bw says:

    You can only say “Ms. Wells” if you’re nasty.

    I promise. TGW style guide.

  19. Dave says:

    Exactly. The limits of grammar. If Dylan had been one to say “Lie, lady, lie,” he’d never have gotten laid.

  20. swells says:

    And . . . scene!

  21. Jeremy says:

    you guys are all a bunch of super-nerds.

    happy bday, dave!

  22. Rachel says:

    Yes, Dave, happy birthday! May all your cake be tasty and all your grammar adventures felicitous.

  23. Tim Wager says:

    #20: LOLZ

  24. Bryan says:

    Dave, thank you for the excellent mix. I have been listening it to it over and over this past week.

  25. That wasn’t me by the way.