Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Songs of Place: Texas 1947

I love the sense of place you can get in a good song (or poem, or novel, or painting, etc.). When a song conveys this sense of place you often get the names of streams, streets, bridges, etc., and you get the names of local characters, a sense of what the weather is typically like, the seasons, and also the attitude, the frame of mind, that goes with the place. Think of Ode to Billie Joe, for one very good example.

Another is Texas, 1947, by Guy Clark. Guy Clark passed on just the other day, so this is a chance to honor his fine songwriting. Texas, 1947 captures a time and a place and an attitude, not just of one person but of a community. And down underneath it all it's about modernity, and about country places getting left behind in the backwash of fast trains. Everything is fine about this Guy Clark song, everything perfectly drawn. Guy Clark, who recently passed away, and whom we have featured here before with Dublin Blues, could tell a story with the best of them. Featured below is Johnny Cash's fine version.

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