Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What can you say in less than four minutes?

If you’re a songwriter like Josh Ritter, that’s an entire story in a song, Where the Night Goes, on his very recent CD, Sermon on the Rocks. It sounds very similar to early Bruce Springsteen. Part of the lyrics are:

“....Only the lonely know the way I’m feeling
Only the living go to the graveyard grieving
Still we’re alive, and you’re astounding
Feel the pulse of the world pounding
Feel the pull of the American darkness:
the mountains, the rivers, the fields at harvest
It’s all I have, and that’s a lot
Come on honey, let’s get lost

In a long night, old car,
back roads, and the boneyards
You drop the pedal like a holy roller,

Sheriff of Hell couldn’t pull you over
Tough girl from a bad town,
brought up not to stay down
Sweet tea, white lightning,
breaking hearts and not minding

Come on in, it’s so good to see ya
It’s been so long, I know, I know
Let’s see where the night takes us
Let’s see where the night goes”

I first blogged about Josh back in April 2011. Did Josh made up the Sheriff of Hell? No, he didn’t. It’s a shortened form of the High Sheriff of Hell, a nickname once used by the St. Louis bluesman Peetie Wheatstraw.

If anyone tells you they can’t possibly say anything just in a four or six minute speech, tell them to go listen to some folk, rock, or country songs.   

The image of James Dean and Natalie Wood is from a trailer for the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause found at Wikimedia Commons.  

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