According to Howard's wife Jan, Cline hated the song and refused to record it. While the song's restrained honky-tonk beat emanates composure, Cline tries her best to do the same, keeping herself together in the presence of an old love wants her to be just his friend. Lyricist Brent Baxter's mother was an English teacher who used the phrase "as empty as a Monday morning church" to explain poetry to her students.
Over a simple yet classic Erin Enderlin melody, Baxter applied that metaphor to the heart of an inconsolate widower enraged with God. The song was considered by Lee Ann Womack and Terri Clark before finding its ideal interpreter in the melodrama-averse Alan Jackson, whose quietly desperate performance suggests that Patty Loveless' backing vocal is all that stands between him and the abyss. Deciding which of Jones' sad songs is sadder than the next is like trying to decide whether coal is blacker than the bottom of the ocean or midnight on a moonless night. A husband's walkthrough of his empty house fresh after his wife has left for good, "The Grand Tour" marks the moment when Jones found synergy with Epic Records producer Billy Sherrill, whose downtown violins were initially seen as antithetical to Jones' honky-tonk roots but ultimately functioned as the castle that isolates the king from the world.
One of its co-writers? George Richey, who married Wynette a few years later. At the heart of this song by early Nineties crew Pirates of the Mississippi is the stirring image of a man kneeling down to deliver the "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" bedtime prayer — pleading someone care for his best friend, a dog named Jake, if his owner should die before he wakes.
However, "Feed Jake" is much deeper than the ballad of an orphaned pet. A classic in country music's ever-flourishing You-Think-You've-Got-Problems subgenre, "God's Will," the slow-burning piano ballad and emotional capstone to McBride's album Martina , valorizes a young boy with braces on his legs and a permanent, resilient smile on his face. The song, which became his 21st Number One on the Country chart when it came out in , walks through all the things the narrator hid of his lost love. The Singing Cowboy's breakout hit and lifelong calling card — co-written with Jimmy Long at a railroad depot, and a gentle, pre-eulogistic apology to Dear Old Dad for slowly worrying him half into the grave — was the first Gold record ever , which hopefully was some consolation.
After drawing it up with superstar songwriter Craig Wiseman , Ronnie Dunn just absolutely sang the hell out of it, darting ahead of the beat and belting with a preacher's conviction. It's a eulogy to fellow San Quentin inmate "Rabbit" Hendricks, who killed a police officer during a botched escape attempt and was sent to the gas chamber. We can only wonder what last song was sad and sweet enough for the death row prisoner to request his "guitar-playing friend" to peform. Still, he was hesitant to play it at concerts since, as he said , "Nobody wants to hear blues on blues on blues.
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On the title track, Gauthier seeks forgiveness and compassion from the micro to the macro level, using an unfolding lyrical device inspired by a similar mechanism on Lucinda Williams' "I Changed the Locks. The song's lyrics are in the form of a letter a soldier has written in case he dies in combat, with personal goodbyes to his mother, father and wife. McGraw performed the song for the first time at the ACM Awards in May , and was joined onstage by military families who lost loved ones while in service to their country.
Radio stations begin playing what was essentially a bootlegged version, which gained momentum with each passing week until the singer's label issued an official release. And then just kind of used our creative liberty to paint the picture. In Red Sovine's best song, "Phantom ," an out-of-luck traveler encounters the supernatural when he hitches a ride from a mysterious trucker named Big Joe.
In his saddest, "Teddy Bear," a different trucker has some CB radio talk with a lonely boy who is "crippled and can't walk. With its keening fiddle and general morbidity, "I Sang Dixie" is as forlorn as a Civil War lament, recounting a vagrant's sad and lonely death on a "damned old L.
He was right. The song never cracked the country Top 40 for Rogers, but Supernaw's version stayed at Number One for two weeks in December In a sad real-life twist, Supernaw has been cited for failure to pay child support. When Ray Charles' career reached its late-Seventies nadir, the then year-old singer found that Nashville, of all places, hadn't forgotten about him: Clint Eastwood duet "Beers to You" reached the country Top 50, a Loretta Lynn Opry gig was a rowdy hit and his fall Hee Haw appearance was so successful that Buck Owens joked, "You keep hangin' around here, and you'll get on steady.
A Marty Robbins-esque gunfighter ballad, the song tells the story of a pair of Mexican bandits who lose their life to a posse of bounty hunters attempting to bring them back to Texas. After the dude gets shot in his attempt to escape, the lady points his empty gun at his attackers, ensuring that she will suffer the same fate. Wisely, her date assuages trepidation by showing up with his dome shaved to bring this emotional scene to a close.
Written in tribute to a friend who committed suicide, "Sweet Old World" is a standout from Williams' album of the same name, which is full of contemplations about life, death and all that we leave behind. Williams began writing the song in after poet Frank Stanford killed himself with three gunshots to the heart, but it didn't see the light of day until more than 13 years later.
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Williams told the New Yorker she held the ballad "because my career has been distinguished by other people, who have always been men, telling me what I should sound like. Within the weepy "Chiseled in Stone," the boundlessly forlorn Vern "The Voice" Gosdin goes straight for the heartstrings and yanks.
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Tinged with gospel harmony and a tad overstuffed production-wise, the Country Music Association Song of the Year details the aftermath of a lovers' quarrel, a. But Dolly uncovers a new wrinkle in a shopworn image. Here, her man sends her the flowers, along with a curt goodbye note when he dumps her, leading her to discover, as another poet once sang, that every rose has its thorn, just like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song.
Songwriting great Harlan Howard — the man who defined country music as "three chords and the truth" — masterfully straddles the line "sympathetic" and "kind of patronizing" in this sharp appraisal of how a history of heartbreak left a woman "cold and bitter. But Tillis' cool reserve in his version, echoed in a stately piano accompaniment, mined the lyric for maximum devastation. Though Ray Price first met Kris Kristofferson when the latter was a janitor at Columbia Studios, the singer wouldn't remember the songwriter's name until he heard his "For the Good Times" demo between sets during an tour.
Though it sounds like an old standard, Vince Gill wrote "Go Rest High on That Mountain" in , inspired by the death of country great Keith Whitley due to complications from alcoholism in Though Gill began writing the song after Whitley's death, he finished it following the death of his own older brother in Despite the devastating lyrical content and tragic circumstances, it's noted for its spiritually optimistic note.
Another mass killin' Celebrity villain Face on the TV screen They won't call him a terrorist We all get the gist It ain't in line with their white supremacy. Every orientation and gender deserves equality You ain't savin' souls trying to control The lives of those you've never seen. Let's stop arrestin' For minor possession If this is the land of the free Ban private prisons That enslave millions Because they don't look like me.
Sweet Maria of the southern wilds Patron saint of this lonesome mile Got evicted and lost her child Try as they might they can't Take her smile. Six-string Joe used to play the blues Down on Beale and Union avenue Pawned his guitar for a plate of food Got a lot of soul but none on his shoes.
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These are some people you're likely to meet If you ever look up when you're shufflin' your feet Can the richest nation afford empathy? For the ghosts of this American dream.
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Sarah sells street papers by the interstate Her husband beat her 'til the day she ran away Started drinkin' heavy to push aside the pain Sober now, ya ask her how Says I take it day by day. Old John lost his arm to a bomb in the war Been tryin' to find a job since No address and post traumatic stress Shut many a door Came home an unknown Sayin' what are we fightin' for?
And I don't know the reason why So many turn a blind eye Maybe they don't wanna see Don't wanna see When we hit hard times It comes to mind Maybe that could be me Maybe that could be me. There's a comfort that's come From knowin' you're near Though I don't hear your voice We've drifted apart Like ships in the dark My darling it was never by choice. Words said in anger That turned us to strangers Tears that stain the path of dreams we chased A moment's lapse of trust Can never define us Or lay this castle that we've built to waste.
I want so to hold you Though I don't deserve to And doors once open lie closed It's always been a fault of mine Rememberin' only the good times It's one of the many you know My sweet little Woodland Rose My sweet Woodland Rose. If what I've heard's true You're with someone new It was only a matter of time Took many moons to overcome my wounds And I buried that sword called pride. No amount of distance Or time's slow persistance Can sever the bond we share If you're feelin' alone And your mind starts to roam Know that I'll always be there.
We've drifted apart Like ships in the dark My darling it was never By choice. Sultry-eyed siren runnin' wild and free Pretty as a peach in the orchard tree Hot as summer and sweet as tea Must've been born in Tennessee. Hands on her hips smirkin' at me Says Yankee boy my love ain't free Opens her heart, hands you the key Must've been born in Tennessee.
Hold me like a river holds it's polished stones From the mighty Mississippi to Clingman's Dome You're in my heart everywhere I roam Give me one kiss for the endless road. Says some things are worth more than gold Leads you down to the honeysuckle grove Pulls you close 'neath the poplar trees Must've been born in Tennessee. One day we'll have that island in the sun Together like Two Hearts on the run 'Til then she leaves a light on for me Sweet lady from Tennessee.
Came to a stop one night on a dark and dusty road Thirty-one miles from the place I'd planned to go Walked the white line 'til I did find a neon glow Sign said Welcome to the Desert Rose. I walked on in and pulled a stool up to the bar Saw her sittin' there and I forgot about my car She slid right over with a drink I said hey there how'd you know?
She smiled you kept me waitin' it's about time that you showed And I said.
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Just then two men walked in from the hard drivin' rain One had a knife and just my luck one had a chain One with the knife said that's my wife you gonna meet your end Now you all know I had no way of knowin' that my friends. I turned to her and said you gonna help me outta this mess? She reached right down and pulled a gun from 'neath her dress Her man said wait a minute think it over Rosalee She turned as bridges burned and said this right to me She said.
Ran out the back door hopped into her little truck She shifted gears we disappeared in a trail of mud Down a maze of sidestreets and backroads we did drive Hollerin' with adrenalin just happy to be alive. Lookin' back they hadn't followed at the time I thought it strange Right then in the rearview mirror headlights shone through the rain One day I know I'll burn hot as the settin' sun Right then I was the king, she handed me the gun And we sang.
Rolled down the window as they rammed us from the side The truck fishtailed to the left and then the right A loud crack lit the sky, something in me changed They barelled through the storm like a runaway freight train.
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