Three more from Lyle Lovett

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That last post got me thinking. So much of Lyle Lovett’s music was so present in my formative years there had to be more than one endearing turn of phrase or trippy two-step that’d yield itself to introspection. Upon having put my mind to it, and in recognition of the ubiquity of those songs of Lyle’s one might call legitimate hits, I came up with three (the magic number) lesser-known but memorable tracks.

 

‘This Old Porch,’ from his eponymous first album. With a name like that one is instantly put on guard against the sort of meaningless sentimentality one finds scattered amid the more memorable tracks of most freshman country albums, but in predictable Lyle Lovett fashion you’re instantly thrown into a world of “steaming, greasy plate[s] of enchiladas, with lots of cheese and onions, and a guacamole salad.”

This old porch is just a long time
Of waiting and forgetting
And remembering the coming back
And not crying about the leaving
And remembering the falling down
And the laughter of the curse of luck
From all of those sons-of-bitches
Who said we’d never get back up

 

‘Walk Through The Bottomland’ from Pontiac. Fans of vocalist Emmylou Harris are in for a treat as she winds her beautiful self around Lyle’s story and song:

The New Jersey lady knew he loved her too
And you know she tried to hold on
But the rodeo life was the life that he knew
He had to keep drifting along

She never married and she never would
And all of the people they’d say
The New Jersey lady she just ain’t no good
To follow a cowboy that way.

Sing me a melody
Sing me a blues
Walk through the bottomland without no shoes.
The Brazos she’s running scared
She heard the news
Walk through the bottomland without no shoes.

 

‘I Can’t Love You Anymore’ from The Road to Ensenada. A great example of the best of Lyle in all respects: superb musicianship, incisive lyrics, and a deft vocal performance:

It’s Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, or Baton Rouge
Hell I don’t know just where I’m at to tell the truth
But the good Lord up in heaven knows what you’ve been going through
And he’s whispering to me that he’ll take care of you.

My angel in distress, you look OK to me
I’ll send you my address, when I know what it will be
I could easily stay with you, on your side of heaven’s door
‘Cause I don’t love you any less, but I can’t love you anymore.

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