The other night, I stumbled across Good Will Hunting showing on TV. I love this film, that gave Matt Damon and Ben Affleck their big break, and which, of course, features a wonderful performance by the late Robin Williams.
I’m sure you’ve seen the movie, but just in case it tells the story of Will (Damon), a manual labourer who takes a second job working as a janitor at local college, where he begins to solve complex mathematical equations left on whiteboards by a lecturer as a challenge for his students to solve.
And, having recently revisited the excellent documentary series Country Music byKen Burns, I couldn’t help but wonder if Damon and Affleck had found inspiration in the story of Kris Kristofferson, who did something not entirely dissimilar:
That’s from Episode 6 of the series, which intertwines the stories of Johnny Cash, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Kris Kristofferson and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
I can’t find a clip of my favourite parts of that episode, but it’s where Charley Daniels quotes Kristofferson’s Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again), and then Larry Gatlin doing the same for the less-well known The Pilgrim Chapter 33. Both wax lyrical about the calibre of Kristofferson’s lyrics, his phrasings, his use of language in a way that had me digging them out to give them another listen.
Here, then, from 1971’s The Silver Tongued Devil And I album, is the latter of those two songs:
Vigilant readers may have spotted that a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that, unable to update my iPod for at least a year because there was no more room on it, I’d spent some time culling the mp3s I have on my iTunes.
Having weeded out all of the tunes I had duplicates of, and still finding I was a good few gigabytes short, I figured I’d start from scratch, remove everything from my iTunes, and start importing it all again. I figured not only would this be a good way for me to trim the library down, but I’d also be able to explore a lot of stuff that I’d never had time to before, and hopefully uncover a few beauties for your delectation.
And so I deleted everything from my iTunes library. It’s ok, I thought, everything I have on here is on my external hard-drive. It’ll be time consuming, sure, but ultimately worth it.
What I forgot is that meant all of my playlists were wiped. And I have a playlist for each of the returning series that I do here. I have a separate folder for each series too, but I don’t always remember to put a copy of the song in question in there when I write the post.
In other words, other than checking back on the blog itself (which I really can’t be bothered with doing every time I go to write a new post), and other than those I did remember to add to the folder, I have no idea of what I’ve previously posted.
For example, this series, along with Sunday Morning Coming Down, has been going since pretty much I first started this place, with the occasional week off.
My first ever post was on September 21st 2013, so that’s 364 songs per series, give or take a few weeks when I didn’t write it them. Having now imported all the songs from the aforementioned respective folders, the Late Night Stargazing playlist now has 53 songs, Sunday Morning Coming Down has 55.
So, what I’m trying to say is this: my apologies if any of the songs I post, or any of the hilarious anecdotes I relate, have featured here before. The links for the songs will be long dead anyway – one of the file sharing services I used to use simply doesn’t exist any more – and if I end up relating the same story twice, forgive me, the old memory isn’t quite what it was.
So, administrative duties done, let’s move on.
Henryk Górecki was a Polish composer of contemporary classical music. The second movement of his Third Symphony – Symphony of Sorrowful Songs – was sampled on Lamb’s 1997 chill-out staple, which bore his name in tribute:
When I lived in Cardiff, I carefully compiled a mix CD for a female friend of mine (at her request, I should add). I should also stress that she was not, nor had she ever been, nor was she ever likely to be my girlfriend, life partner, call it what you will, no matter how hard I tried to impress her. Górecki was one of the songs I put on there, and she loved it.
I imagine I’m not preaching to the unconverted when I say there’s a knack to compiling a playlist; you want it to flow, to get a message across (if there is one, other than “look at what brilliant records I like”), but generally you pick the next song in the hope that it sounds good next to what has immediately preceded it.
The next song I put on the mix CD was this lovely little acoustic number (which, and you’ll probably guess this from the title, comes with an Effin’ & Jeffin’ warning):