The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Great Philosophers of the 20th Century #4: Ernest Tubb


"I'm just drivin' nails in my coffin . . . "

3 comments :

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Wow....Drivin' Nails isn't Tubb's best known hit, but it's my personal favourite of his. Good call. It's also one of the very first songs I learned how to play off a record, thanks to its mostly two chord melody. Maybe that's where punk rock started.

Tubb's voice is so atypical of pretty much anything in popular music. He wouldn't have a chance in today's world of pretty boy rodeo clowns and goateed rubes, which just about sums up everything you need to know about country music today. Come to think of it, the two Hanks, Williams and Snow, would likely get laughed out of every office in Nashville.

Frankly, the music industry deserves every lost dollar from downloading that slips through its fingers.

When I saw Merle Haggard, he did a tribute to his favourite country singers partway through the show, including a nod to Tubb and an abbreviated version of that song. Great minds think alike.

swac

Ivan G. said...

When I saw Merle Haggard, he did a tribute to his favourite country singers partway through the show, including a nod to Tubb and an abbreviated version of that song. Great minds think alike.Tubb's updated version of Walkin' the Floor Over You (which came out sometime in '79 or '80) that includes Hag and Charlie Daniels is one of my favorite country singles. It's so infectious you can't help but sing along to it.