RARA-AVIS: Hardboiled country

From: bobav1 (bob.vietrogoski@gmail.com)
Date: 31 Jul 2009

Following the music thread a little while ago, I was listening to a great new recording from John Doe and the Sadies entitled “Country Club” from YepRoc Records. Some of you may recall Mr. Doe from his days in the band X. Anyway, there’s a cover of a 1967 Porter Wagoner #2 hit, composed by Bill Anderson without a wasted word. I’m supplying the lyrics below under the “fair use” scholarly provision of copyright law:

I got back in town a day before I'd planned to I smiled and said I'll sure surprise my wife I don't think I'll phone I'll just head on home But I didn't know the cold hard facts of life

I passed a little wine store on the corner I pictured pink champagne by candlelight I stopped the car right then got out and hurried in My mind not on the cold hard facts of life

A stranger stood there laughing by the counter He said I'll take two bottles of your best Her husband's out of town and there's a party He winked as if to say “you know the rest . . .”

I left the store two steps behind the stranger From there to my house his car stayed in sight But it wasn't till he turned into my drive that I learned I was witnessing the cold hard facts of life

I drove around the block till I was dizzy Each time the noise came louder from within Then I saw our bottle there beside me I drank a fifth of courage and walked in

Lord you should've seen their frantic faces As they screamed and cried please put away the knife I guess I'll go to hell or rot here in this cell But who taught who the cold hard facts of life Who taught who the cold hard facts of life

Note: On Amazon, there’s an import set of six Wagoner 1960s concept albums featuring “a rogue's gallery of murderers, philanderers, depressives, death-row inmates, unrepentant barflies, panhandling winos and other losers.” Sounds like the Gold Medal soundtrack . . .

Reviews of Block and Pelecanos forthcoming,

Bob V in NJ

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