Friday Five: Bones

Juli Thanki | October 19th, 2012

There are 206 bones in an adult human body, and probably an equal amount of songs about bones in my music collection. Here are five favorites, best enjoyed with a tall glass of milk.

5. Hoyt Axton – “Boney Fingers”

A Top Ten hit for Axton in 1974, this song is mighty depressing: “Work your fingers to the bone and what do you get? Boney fingers.” Good thing it’s catchy. not that that’s much comfort when your car won’t run, the fire won’t start, and your distal phalanges are wrecked. But maybe things will get a little better. Just kidding. They probably won’t.

 

4. Porter Wagoner – “Bones”

“Bones, we’ve been a long way together, and not once have you let me down/Why, Bones, you’ve probably walked me over the place we’ll sleep in the ground.”  I guess that’s comforting, but it’s not like Bones had any choice in the matter.

 

3. Randy Travis – “Diggin’ Up Bones”

This single from Storms of Life was Travis’ second No. 1. It’s a good reminder that broken relationships are a lot like the film trope of the Native American burial ground: disturb them at your own risk.

 

2. Patty Loveless – “Jealous Bone”

Being born with a jealous bone sounds better than being born with a vestigial tail, but not by much. At least doctors can remove the latter.

 

1. Guy Clark – “Bag of Bones”

“This old bag of bones ain’t really me/There’s a lot more standing here than what you see.”  That’s something to think about when your joints pop and creak and old injuries act up when it rains.

  1. Jonathan Pappalardo
    October 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson – “Rattlin’ Bones”

    Little Big Town – “Bones”

    John Michael Montgomery – “Beer and Bones”

    Tracy Bird – “Drinkin’ Bone”

    Randy Travis – “Out Of My Bones”

    And that was off the top of my head. Here’s a few more:

    Joe Diffie – “Lonesome and Dry As A Bone”

    Sweethearts of the Rodeo – “Blue To The Bone”

    Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins – “Hillbilly Bone”

    Craig Morgan (with the forgettable) – “Still A Little Chicken Left On That Bone”

  2. Barry Mazor
    October 19, 2012 at 11:01 am

    This is a good one!

    Coming soon from Gary Allan: “I Got a Bone to Pick With You” (somebody had to write it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJYwhJcXxhc

  3. Arlene
    October 19, 2012 at 11:48 am

    “Flesh and Bone”

    Johnny Cash:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et1ckK372L8

    Emmylou Harris, Mary Chapin Carpenter & Sheryl Crow:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W8W-3uerDQ

  4. Sheldon
    October 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Check out an album cut from Dolly’s “Halo’s and horns” – Its called “These Old Bones”- Dolly sings two parts in the song…the mother and the daughter. No need to split royalties on this one!

  5. nm
    October 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Oh, “Boney Fingers.” I love that.

  6. Occasional Hope
    October 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I think I Want My Rib Back – Gene Watson or Keith Whitley versions

  7. Rick
    October 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Hank Penny – “I Want My Rib”, which may very well have been the inspiration for the Gene Watson/Keith Whitley song Occasional Hope mentioned above.(?)

    And since this is a broad spectrum “roots music” publication:
    George Thorogood: “Bad To The Bone”

  8. Ben Foster
    October 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I’m surprised that Little Big Town’s “Bones” and Tracy Byrd’s “Drinkin’ Bone” came to mind before any of these. I especially love “Diggin’ Up Bones” and “Jealous Bone.”

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