Friday Five: Not In Heaven

Juli Thanki | March 18th, 2011

This week’s Friday Five is inspired by a song that was mentioned in Ralph Stanley’s autobiography Man of Constant Sorrow: Cager Farler’s “There’ll Be No Hippies in Heaven.” (Really, Cager? Not even that longhaired dude in sandals?) So what else isn’t in heaven? Let’s find out.

  • 5. “No Lawyers in Heaven” – Ray Stevens

    If you’ve ever been sued, gone through a divorce, or had to pay legal fees for some reason or another, you can probably agree with Stevens’ sentiments here. Bluegrass musician Charlie Sizemore (who also happens to have a law practice in Nashville) has a nice version on his newest album Heartache Looking for a Home.

  • The Rose Hotel (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version)4. “Wireless In Heaven” – Robert Earl Keen

    If there’s no wireless in heaven, if Jesus won’t answer his email, the tongue-in-cheek Keen will gladly go to hell.

  • The Complete Mercury Recordings3. “No School Bus in Heaven” – Stanley Brothers

    This song–the last official song that Carter and Ralph recorded for Mercury–is based on the true story of a late 1950s bus accident in Kentucky in which 26 kids and their bus driver were killed. It’s a tragic story made even sadder by the mournful vocals found on the record.

  • The Carter Family 1927 - 1934 Disc B2. “No Telephone in Heaven” – The Carter Family

    Nobody could sing a sad song like Sara Carter. In this song, a little kid wants to call up heaven and “tell [Mother] that I get so lonesome that I don’t know what to do/And Papa cries so much I guess he must be lonesome too/Tell her to come to baby cause at night I get so ‘fraid/With no one there to kiss me when the lights begin to fade.” Check out A.P.’s border radio version below.

  • No Depression1. “No Depression” – Uncle Tupelo

    I’m partial to the Carter Family’s version of the song, but this is the cover that spawned a musical movement, or at least the title of one.

  1. Barry Mazor
    March 18, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I have always been grateful that Uncle Tupelo didn’t record “No Telephone in Heaven” because, I think I would have been writing for a decade for a magazine called “No Telephone.”

    (Incidentally, The Uncle Tupelo guys learned “No Depression” from the recording by the New Lost City Ramblers, and THEY’D heard the Carters’ record. There was a good early one by Charlie Monroe, too.)

  2. Bob
    March 18, 2011 at 10:31 am

    from “Midnight Choir” by Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers:

    Will they have Mogen David in Heaven?
    Dear Lord, we’d all like to know
    Will they have Mogen David in Heaven, sweet Jesus?
    If they don’t, who the hell wants to go?

  3. Jonathan
    March 18, 2011 at 10:35 am

    I think I’m the only one, but I really enjoyed Sheryl Crow’s cover of “No Depression” from 2004. I thought she did a really good job with the song and proved she could sing country music if she really wanted to. But like I said, and I could be wrong, but I think I’m the only one who shares this view.

  4. Dave D.
    March 18, 2011 at 11:00 am

    According to Buck Owens, the jury is still out regarding whether there will be Sweethearts in Heaven.

  5. Barry Mazor
    March 18, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Will there be any boxcars in heaven? (Jimmie Rodgers wanted to know.)

    “In Heaven There is No Beer” (Old German song, Iowa fight song, etc. Lists a lots of things that won’t be in heaven,.)

  6. Timeo
    March 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    “Texas When I Die” (the Tanya Tucker hit, also recorded by Ed Bruce) followed a similar theme: “When I die, I may not go to heaven, I don’t know if they let cowboys in. When I die, just let me go to Texas.”

    > I think I’m the only one, but I really enjoyed
    > Sheryl Crow’s cover of “No Depression” from 2004

    Count me in the group that did not like this cover. While I like some of her pop recordings, to me her attempts at acoustic-based music emphasize how unremarkable her voice really is.

  7. MayorJoBob
    March 18, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    “I Hope Heaven Has a Honky-Tonk”. I can’t remember who did that one. It’s saying that there might be one or their might not be.

  8. Rick
    March 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Dave D. said: “According to Buck Owens, the jury is still out regarding whether there will be Sweethearts in Heaven.”

    Well according to Buck yet again the same also applies to big rig trucks! (See the album titled “Rig Rock Deluxe” for further details…)

    I know what won’t be in heaven, and that’s “The Honky Tonk From Hell” the Aussie Dead Ringer Band sang about on their “Home Fires” CD! (lol)

  9. Paul W Dennis
    March 18, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    There’ll be no detours in heaven, no rough roads along the way ..

    from “I’m Using My Bible For A Roadmap” by Red Smiley & Don Reno

  10. Jon
    March 19, 2011 at 8:55 am

    That’d be Don Reno & Red Smiley, a/k/a Reno & Smiley, not the other way around.

    And Charlie Sizemore *had* a practice in Nashville; he’s moved back to Eastern Kentucky.

  11. Paul W Dennis
    March 19, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Jon – I did that intentionally to see if you could resist the impulse to snipe. You can’t …

  12. Jon
    March 19, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Corrected. It would bs like writing Dunn & Brooks.

    By the way, I learned today that while Charlie’s an East Kentucky resident, he still maintains his Nashville office.

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