Happy happy Monday! Looking like another beautiful Monday here in San Antonio. After such a gorgeous weekend, it was awfully hard to want to go to work this morning. Of course I’ll have to post later about my shenanigans this weekend, but that will have to wait for now.
Because, right now is my Musical Monday feature! I have been working on trying to come up with a calendar for this blog so that I can stay focused and not go so long between posts. Last week my post was about the great Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Sixteen Tons. I was going to try and keep mixing up different genres and eras for this series from week to week. BUT then I happened to hit shuffle on one of my Spotify playlists, and the very first song that came on I couldn’t wait to blog about. Seriously, I have been sitting on this for about a week…..
Long Black Veil
Everyone has their opinion on who sings it best, but we can all agree there are a ton of covers out there. Lefty sang it first. Johnny Cash sang during his first episode of the Johnny Cash Show. And then, just about everyone else has covered it at least once during a concert.
The lyrics describe an eerie, difficult situation that has caught one person in the cross-hairs. So I guess somewhere hidden behind these sorrowful words, there is maybe a lesson to be learned: (spoiler alert) don’t sleep with your best friend’s wife.
This is another one of Dad’s favorites. It was until in recent years was I introduced to this song, but ever since then I have always been mesmerized by it, no matter who sings it. I’m pretty sure it was on one of those nights at the kitchen table withing only a small light on and our laptops out, frosty mugs of beer in hand, that Dad said hold on, I needed to hear this one. And like all of the songs he calls his favorites, it was freaking good!
First I will share with you the original:
Ok so now you’ve listened to the lyrics and have a baseline for where upon to judge all of the covers. I love Lefty’s version, but it isn’t my absolute favorite version.
Johnny Cash takes that one. In the playlist I created on YouTube, I have several of his versions and performances in there. They are all great, but I finally just used this one below because it’s easiest to listen to. His performance with Joni Mitchell on the Johnny Cash Show was awesome. And if you have followed my blog for awhile, I posted back in November a video of him and Kris Kristofferson’s performance of the song together. That was pretty darn good too. But it’s just not quite as good as him singing it alone. Unlike the Frizzell version, Cash’s weary, rugged voice gives you an even different appreciation for the tune.
And then in the recent years, one of my Texas Country favorites, Stoney LaRue, included it on his Live at Billy Bob’s album and it’s pretty wonderful. In fact, I was able to see him perform this in College Station a number of years ago.
There are tons of great videos of many, many artists singing Long Black Veil. Check out my playlist for some I have put together. Or just search for yourself.
For more variations of this wonderful hit, check out my playlist: