Friday Five: Ghosts (Part Two)
Ken Morton delivered the first installment of ghostly country songs last week. Today, we add a few more to the list.
5. David Ball – “Riding with Private Malone”
Who needs airbags when your classic Corvette comes with a ghost who’ll save your life after a wreck?
4. Chelle Rose – “Browder Holler Boy”
This one’s based on a true story. From Ken’s 2012 interview with Rose: It was one night visiting my grandmother and I was having visits from my childhood sweetheart who died tragically when he was only 25 in a canoeing accident. That sounds crazy to some people but it’s my truth. I was frustrated with him. He didn’t do anything to scare me at all, just little silly things. But that night, he picked the bed off the ground and let it drop. It’s a big old antique bed. I think they had to take it all apart to get it upstairs it’s so heavy at Momma’s house. I could never lift this bed. It’s just crazy heavy. But they could feel it in the whole house, they thought we had an earthquake or something. I just picked it up and dropped it and then left. And that prompted me to write that song, “Browder Holler Boy.”
3. Alan Jackson – “Midnight in Montgomery” / David Allan Coe – “The Ride” / Kentucky Headhunters – “The Ghost of Hank Williams”
Hank might be busier—and chattier–in death than he was in his too-short life.
2. Johnny Cash – “Delia’s Gone”
In both of Cash’s versions of this song, Delia torments her murderer in his jail cell, as the sound of her footsteps keeps him from sleep. Meh, the guy had it coming – didn’t he learn anything from “The Tell-Tale Heart”? (Jokes aside, take a few minutes out of your workday to read this essay by Sean Wilentz for more information on the real Delia, who was only 14 when she was murdered in 1900 – her killer was a year older.)
1. The Stanley Brothers – “Keep Them Cold, Icy Fingers Off of Me”
Bill Johnson doesn’t mind ghosts—or doctors–as long as they keep their hands to themselves.
- Juli Thanki: That would definitely be better than Marvel's hilariously terrible Billy Ray Cyrus comic book, released in 1995. http://4thletter.net/2009/02/billy-ray-cyrus-the-marvel-comic-book-yes-really/
- Applejack: "I’m sure there are many ways to lasso in and constrict any genre or format, any of them, so tightly …
- Emily: Wow!! Fabulous! Love those boots and you all look stunning! xo
- Leeann Ward: Bangor is named somewhat commonly in country songs. It's usually their example of the most north you can go: Vince …
- bob: Portland West was almost Boston West. From Names on the Land by George Stewart: "When more people arrived in Oregon, Amos …
- Jack Williams: There's "Eight More Miles To Louisville", where Portland is referred to as Portland East.
- nm: Of course, Bangor is also mentioned in "I've Been Everywhere."
- Stuart Munro: As if that's what this discussion is doing, Barry. I'm for the online commenters thinking about and discussing the music …
- bob: Agree on King of the Road. There's another song that mentions Maine, "A Tombstone Every Mile" recorded by Dick Curless …
- Barry Mazor: I'm sure there are many ways to lasso in and constrict any genre or format, any of them, so …