Friday Five: Nobody

Ken Morton, Jr. | March 11th, 2011

This Friday Five feature on The 9513 is all about nobody. You know the one. Nobody in particular. Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen. That nobody. On the surface, you might think it might be difficult to find five songs about nobody. But in this case, nobody is a somebody and he’s had thousands of songs written about him. So here, I am, trying to tell everybody–anybody that will listen–about these five songs about nobody.

  • 5. “Nobody” – Johnny Cash

    Cash says “I ain’t never done nothin’ to nobody, I ain’t never got nothin’ from nobody, no time, and until I get something from somebody, sometime, I don’t intend to do nothin’ for nobody, no time.” Well that’s clears things up, don’t it?

  • Dolly4. “Nobody But You” – Dolly Parton

    For decades, Dolly Parton used her sex appeal along with her amazing God-given talent to win over audiences on stage, in stores and on screen. It turns out that when her “lips are burning with desire” and when “only your kisses can put out the fire,” the man to do it is, you guessed it, that nobody feller again. Lucky devil.

  • Up Against My Heart3. “Nobody Loves You Like I Do” – Patty Loveless

    If we’ve already assessed that nobody is actually a somebody, does that mean that this song isn’t as much a devotional pledge as it is a realization that the song’s subject is in love with a second woman? How very country music of Patty.

  • Be Here2. “Nobody Drinks Alone” – Keith Urban

    In one of Urban’s best career tracks, this haunting song tells how nobody really drinks alone. He drinks along with all of your demons, your ghosts from your past and every memory you’ve held back. That’s quite the dinner party.

  • 1. “Nobody’s Lonesome for Me” – Kris Kristofferson & Hank Williams

    Two country legends perform this old Hank Sr. classic where everybody is getting all the glory and nobody gets the shaft. It has one of the better country music lines: “When the time rolls around for me to lay down and die, I bet I’ll have to go and hire me someone to cry, Everybody’s lonesome for somebody else, nobody is lonesome for me.” Count me among the nobodies.

  1. PaulaW
    March 11, 2011 at 10:08 am

    And of course “Nobody”, by Sylvia.

  2. Blake Boldt
    March 11, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Patty Loveless!

  3. Rick
    March 11, 2011 at 10:33 am

    There is a fun video from the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour featuring Glen along with Jerry Reed and Jackie DeShannon singing “Ain’t Nobobdy’s Business But My Own”. Gosh did I love to watch that show when it was on the air…


    Quick Opry Alert! Tonight’s show will include Ralph Stanley, Josh Turner, and Kenny Rogers (that’s what I call covering a lot of bases), and the Brock McGuire Band(?). Saturday night’s Opry features Terri Clark, Diamond Rio and Troy Olsen.
    Opry Schedule:

  4. Fizz
    March 11, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Makes me think of the Shel Silverstein poem about how “nobody loves me, nobody cares, nobody brings me peaches and pears,” and so on, listing all the things “nobody” does for him, and then one day, “nobody wasn’t there!”

  5. Jon
    March 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

    “Nobody Loves Me,” written by Zeke Clements, ought to be on that list – on the top.

  6. Bob
    March 11, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    “Nobody Love, Nobody Gets Hurt”, the title song from the 1998 Suzy Bogguss album. The song was solely written by Bobbie Cryner.

  7. Lucas
    March 11, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    “Nobody But Me” by Blake, his first sinigle after the mullet.

  8. Miss Leslie
    March 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    “Nobody But a Fool” – recorded by Connie Smith and a few more including an early Chely Wright. Written by the great Bill Anderson.

  9. Ben Foster
    March 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Like a few previous commenters, I also thought of Sylvia’s “Nobody” and Blake’s “Nobody But Me.” But it’s nice to see that great old Patty song on this list – one that I’ve always loved. Good ones from Johnny and Dolly too.

  10. Ben Foster
    March 11, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Might also point out that Sylvia’s song is one in which Nobody really is an actual person.

  11. PaulaW
    March 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I think that’s what I always loved most about that song Ben. It’s one of those ‘slap you in your face before you see it coming’ kind of songs/hooks.

  12. Mike K
    March 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    “Nobody in His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her” – George Strait, written by Dean Dillon.

  13. Rita
    March 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Sylvia’s Nobody is my personal fav!

  14. Mitch
    March 11, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Oh my god, I’m so glad “Nobody Drinks Alone” is on the list. I think that is one of the most powerful songs ever recorded in country. So good.

  15. Kyle
    March 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Whoa, I’d never heard Nobody Drinks Alone… damn, Keith.

    I’ve always been partial to the “Nobody Knows” taken from R&B singer Tony Rich… I’m not even a big fan of Kevin Sharp’s vocal, but it’s just a classic song, regardless of genre/artist.

    Conversely, I’ve never really liked “Nobody But Me”. Super catchy, but when you listen to the lyrics, it’s kind of bizarre. “Nobody but me’s gonna love you like you oughta be loved on, nobody but me’s gonna cry if you ever leave.” Basically, “I’m the best you’re going to get, because no one else really cares about you”. Touching.

  16. Michael A.
    March 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    The first one I thought of was Radney Foster’s “Nobody Wins”.

    Happy Friday! :)

  17. Eric
    March 11, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    The first one that came to mind for me from country was Reckless Kelly’s “Nobody’s Girl”. From the folk-pop world, The Weepies’ “Nobody Knows Me At All” (it’s actually pretty country-leaning. “Nobody Girl” by Ryan Adams also comes to mind.

  18. Eric
    March 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    oops, i meant to put a closing parenthesees after “country-leaning”

  19. Patrick
    March 11, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    “Nobody Knows But Me” written and recorded by Jimmie Rodgers on November 25th 1929… and subsequently recorded by Lefty Frizzell, Hank Snow and Merle Haggard.

    Also, “Nobody’s Child” by Hank Snow on a late fifties lp called “When Tragedy Strikes.”

    “Nobody Wins” written and recorded by Kris Kristofferson.

  20. sheldon
    March 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    SYLVIA’s “Nobody” One of my favorite songs from the 80s…I still smile when I hear it on Sirius or on the rare occassion I hear it on regular radio

  21. Jon
    March 12, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Nice call on “Nobody’s Child,” Patrick – can’t believe I forgot it, since my band recorded it on our first album…

  22. Paul W Dennis
    March 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Brenda Lee had a great recording on KK’s “Nobody Wins”

    How did we miss the old spiritual “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen”, recorded by Louis Armstrong, Marian Anderson, Lena Horne and many of the 60s folkies. I especially surprised Jon didn’t mention it

  23. Steve
    March 12, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do” the Anne Murray/Dave Loggins #1 duet from December 1984

  24. Michael A.
    March 13, 2011 at 12:46 am

    A few more:

    Clint Black’s “Nobody’s Home”
    Kathy Mattea’s “Nobody’s Gonna Rain on Our Parade”
    Wynonna’s “Can’t Nobody Love You (Like I Can)”
    George Strait’s “Nobody In His Right Mind Would Have Left Her”
    Joe Nichol’s “If Nobody Believed in You”
    and Ronnie Milsap’s “Nobody Likes Sad Songs”

    and a some from the pop world:

    Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better”
    Christina Aguilera & Ricky Martin’s “Nobody Wants to Be Lonely”
    and Madonna’s “Nobody Knows Me”

  25. BAMBI
    March 13, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    First thing that came to mind was the lyrics to “When I Call Your Name” by Vince Gill. . . until I remembered the title– it doesn’t mention nobody.

  26. gloria
    March 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Nobody Drinks Alone is a dang good song!

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