Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Songs of Place: Fort Worth Blues

Well it's just natural that as I collect these "songs of place" I'm going to lean toward featuring my favorite songwriters. You jsust know John Prine is going to show up here sooner or later, but John wouldn't mind if I came back to the great Townes Van Zandt first. His Brazos River Song has already been featured in this series, but I'm operating on the assumption that you can't over-represent genius.

And so, Fort Worth Blues (sung by Steve Earle):

Townes was a lyric genius, there's no doubt in my mind. His songs capture a kind of endemic personal sadness, known clinically as depression I guess. I can only take so much, before I start longing for  little light and air. Wasn't it Dostoevsky who said it was much easier to write convincingly about sadness that about happiness? Townes did write a few sweet songs, and Fort Worth Blues is less about depression than about resignation. Here the place he sings about is not so much a far away dream, but something you carry with you wherever you go.

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