Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rosanne Cash and the Johnny Cash Legacy - The List

Johnny CashImage via WikipediaI don't often listen to country music, but I was brought up on it because my parents are great country music fans. I developed an appreciation for the twangy tunes but I must admit, I quickly tire of heartbreak songs, so don't listen to country very often. That said, Johnny Cash was more than just a country music star with a lifetime of achievement not only in that genre but in others as well. You just need to have one listen to the NIN song "Hurt" to understand what I am getting at.

Recently, I heard of an album which Rosanne Cash had made called "The List" and it grabbed my interest.

As Rosanne explains in this CBC interview that the album, The List,  is based on a list of 100 greatest country and American songs which her Dad compiled for her when she was 18.  In it she is joined in a few of the songs by a few non country contemporaries - Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. I really like her interpretation of "Movin' On", which is the last of the 3 songs I have chosen for this blog. The other two are songs which are pretty typical of the Country Genre - broken heart songs. In the first, Sea of Heartbreak, she is accompanied perfectly by The Boss.

I understand that the week after Valentines Day is prime break up time according to some radio commentary I was listening to this week. So the first two songs are crying time songs - pure country lament.  The last song, I'm Moving On, is a good way to finish a blog that contains two crying songs.  For anyone out there hit by the post Valentines Day breakup thing  (if there is such a thing), it is a good piece of advice.

Sea of Heartbreak

The lights in the harbor
Don't shine for me
I'm like a lost ship
Adrift on the sea

The sea of heartbreak
Lost love and loneliness
Memories of your caress
So divine how I wish
You were mine again my dear
I am on this sea of tears
Sea of heartbreak

Oh, how did I lose you?
Oh, where did I fail?
Why did you leave me?
Always to sail

This sea of heartbreak
Lost love and loneliness
Memories of your caress
So divine how I wish
You were mine again my dear
I am on this sea of tears
Sea of heartbreak

Oh what I'd give just
To sail back to shore
Back to your arms once more

Come to my rescue
Oh, come here to me
Take me and keep me
Away from the sea

Sea of heartbreak
Lost love and loneliness
Memories of your caress
So divine how I wish
You were mine again my dear
I am on this sea of tears
Sea of heartbreak

Sea of heartbreak
Sea of heartbreak
Sea of heartbreak

I Still Miss Someone

This song is not from the album but features a nice introduction by Rosanne retelling a time she sang this song with her Dad and I like the song it for its simplicity. It showcases Rosanne's wonderful clear voice nicely.

At my door the leaves are falling
A cold wild wind has come
Sweethearts walk by together
And I still miss someone

I go out on a party
And look for a little fun
But I find a darkened corner
because I still miss someone

Oh, no I never got over those blues eyes
I see them every where
I miss those arms that held me
When all the love was there

I wonder if she's sorry
For leavin' what we'd begun
There's someone for me somewhere
And I still miss someone

I'm Moving On
I love the way that Roseanne has given this song a really interesting sound, moving it away from the country genre just a bit.

That big eight-wheeler rollin' down the track
Means your true-lovin' daddy ain't comin' back
'Cause I'm movin' on, I'll soon be gone
You were flyin' too high, for my little old sky
So I'm movin' on

That big loud whistle as it blew and blew
Said hello to the southland, we're comin' to you
When we're movin' on, oh hear my song
You had the laugh on me, so I've set you free
And I'm movin' on

Mister fireman won't you please listen to me
'Cause I got a pretty mama in Tennessee
Keep movin' me on, keep rollin' on
So shovel the coal, let this rattler roll
And keep movin' me on

Mister Engineer, take that throttle in hand
This rattler's the fastest in the southern land
To keep movin' me on, keep rollin' on
You gonna ease my mind, put me there on time
And keep rollin' on

I've told you baby, from time to time
But you just wouldn't listen or pay me no mind
Now I'm movin' on, I'm rollin' on
You've broken your vow, and it's all over now
So I'm movin' on

You've switched your engine now I ain't got time
For a triflin' woman on my main line
Cause I'm movin on, you done your daddy wrong
I warned you twice, now you can settle the price
'Cause I'm movin on

But someday baby when you've had your play
You're gonna want your daddy but your daddy will say
Keep movin' on, you stayed away too long
I'm through with you, too bad you're blue
Keep movin' on

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  1. No one would ever accuse me of being in the Country Music camp, either, Peggy. Too many traditional singers of such songs have a heavy nasal twang in their voices, which drives me up a wall and heads me running for the nearest door.

    But, Johnny Cash did not have the offending twang in his voice and his music usually bridges genre gaps, so I greatly enjoy his songs.

    A few other Country Western-types clear the hurdle for me, as well, such as Willie Nelson. Then, too, Canadians Neil Young, and Ian and Sylvia Tyson, are among others I will listen to and enjoy all day long.

    As for your songs today, I grew up in farm and ranch country and heard the "Sea of Heartbreak" on a million juke boxes when I was young. It really is a beautiful song, to me, and I think Rosanne Cash does a great job with it. I agree with you. I like her music.

    A very neat post, Peggy.

  2. Hey Fram, nice to have you visit. I have to agree with you about that nasal twang. But as you point out, there are quite a few good Country or "Near Country" musicians who are wonderful to listen to. I second your vote for Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and Ian and Sylvia. I am a big Neil Young fan. What do you think of Blue Rodeo? They are one of Canada's best known contemporary country/pop banks and they hail from Toronto.

    Going to pop over to your blog now and see if there is a new posting... But then I must immediately turn off my internet and get back to work. This is a complete working weekend.


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