The Evil World of Commerce


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July 20, 2008


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Gram Parsons just slays me. Everything on "Grievous Angel," but especially "In my hour of darkness." So I forgive him the things he did badly - sappy writing, bad behavior - for all the things he did so well - heartbreaking song writing, discovering Emmy Lou Harris, inventing Alt Country....

It is such a haunting picture! He's so good looking, but looking at us so fiercely and holding onto her so tightly. And the woman, with her thin mouth and wide face, is not quite beautiful, but looking away, into her own deep distances, and longing for them. Did you ever see "The Secret of Roan Innish" by John Sayles? It's about a fisherman who marries a Selkie woman and loses her. (Incredible movie, as all his are.) This picture reminds me of that couple. Wouldn't this make an incredible book cover?


P.S.-Now you've got me thinking about this song and I'm utterly perplexed! Did she leave him as "old lies still on their faces" would indicate? Or did she die as "She only knew she loved the world" might lead you to believe? Does he wish there was a funeral because she dumped him and he's broken hearted, as I always thought before? Oh dear.....

a thousand shades of twilight

Thanks Eliz! Re your first comment, I hope I wasn't too harsh on Ol' Gram - I have to say that I think Grievous Angel is an almost perfect album to me. I really love In My Hour Of Darkness and Hearts on Fire too, and all of those songs where he and Emmylou really let rip! I have not seen the film about the selkies, but have always been fascinated by the concept and will have to check it out. I think I remember my big sister talking about the film and saying how much she liked it.

As to the meaning of the song, I have always shared the view that you had of the song - he's heartbroken because she's run off and it may as well be a funeral, rather than a wedding..but I shouldn't overanalyse - most of the best songs have a core of mysteriousness to them (just what WAS Billy Jo McAllister throwing off the Tallahatchee bridge? Who DID walk into the party like they were stepping on to a yacht? What IS the way to San Jose?)..

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