(Due to technical and logistical difficulties, Saturday Night Jukebox comes a night late this week.)
I’ve been exploring the myths and legends of the indigenous peoples of Canada’s west coast of late. That narrative flair has rekindled the inner wonder of imagination that only story inspires. I wasn't aware I'd lost it. Having had my head down in the dirty details of work the past months, I'd been losing the plot. Luckily this current reading is tied to future potential work projects. Coming from a humanities and Education background it's still strange to me - amazing even - that some environments privilege – indeed, only recognize! – quantitative conclusions arrived at through fixed perspectives. Works for some people; for me, it’s hard slogging. Hell, I’ve decided, is endless chatter with no narrative arc.
So it got me thinking about the different types of narrative songs that move me. Sad songs about lonely wanderers on the road; metaphoric characters that capture the essence of a thing; the rambling, the loving, the losing, the rage, the cost of it all.
A selection of favourites follow. Interested to watch and listen to the story songs that move you.
First, a live version of Townes Van Zandt 'Techumseh Valley'. Devastating, heartbreaking; hope snuffed out.
Next, a Travelling Wilburys' playful classic, Tweeter and Monkey Man. I've always loved the Headstones' version. Here's a guerilla version from earlier this year:
Finally, the majestic Natalie Merchant depicts the archetypal 'Cowboy and a fool' in Cowboy Romance, her take on an ill-considered one night stand: