Friday Five: Wells

Juli Thanki | January 28th, 2011

Kenny Rogers, Ryan Bingham, The Greencards, Buddy Miller, Caitlin Rose and more have all recorded their own songs about wells of the wishing and non-wishing varieties, but here are my five favorites.

  • Dancing On The Gallows5. “The Well” – Rose’s Pawn Shop

    Drowning in a well of sorrow sounds doesn’t sound like much fun, but if this rowdy bluegrass band is there with you, at least there will be some good music. And probably some hooch.

  • Wrecking Ball4. “Deeper Well” – Emmylou Harris

    Every now and then I forget how good Emmylou sounds when she sings in her lower register. “Deeper Well,” from Wrecking Ball is a fantastic reminder.

  • Ring the Bell3. “The Wishing Well” – The Gibson Brothers

    It’s almost a certainty that a song written by Shawn Camp and Paul Kennerly is going to be a good one, especially when it’s sung by Leigh Gibson; the lyric “the man who owns that water must be a millionaire/Because I’ve thrown away a fortune on the dreams that died down there” gets me every time.

  • The Essential Hank Snow2. “The Wishing Well (Down In The Well)” – Hank Snow

    There are lots of old wives’ tales about looking into a well and seeing the face of the one you’ll marry, but none of those biddies ever had a #7 hit with their superstitions like Snow did back in ’65.

  • Last Kiss And Other Great Country Songs1. “The Death Of Little Kathy Fiscus” – Jimmie Osborne

    This one’s a true story about Kathy Fiscus, a three-year old girl who died after falling into an abandoned well in 1949. Osborne’s song, written shortly after the event, sold over a million copies; he donated half of the proceeds to the Fiscus family. Kitty Wells also recorded a version.

  1. Paul W Dennis
    January 28, 2011 at 9:04 am

    “Dig, Dig, Dig (There’s No More Water In The Well)” as recorded by Lorne Greene a/k/a Pa Cartwright

  2. PaulaW
    January 28, 2011 at 9:44 am

    First one that came to mind when I read the subject line was “Dig A Little Deeper In The Well” by the Oak Ridge Boys.

  3. Peter Bogert
    January 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Bobby Bare sang “Bottomless Well” on Lullaby’s, Legends, & Lies. Quirky song, but part of a great LP.

  4. Rick
    January 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I’d include Jeannie Kendall’s gorgeous song “Wishing Well Blues” off her fantastic but over looked self-titled Rounder release back in 2003. Her duet with Alan Jackson on “Timeless and True Love” is just another of many reasons to track down that excellent album…

  5. Grizzly Adam
    January 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    No Kitty?

  6. Mike K
    January 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Only thing that came to mind for me was “Nickel in the Well” by Brian White. Whatever happened to that dude?

  7. Jon
    January 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Rick, if I remember right, “Wishing Well Blues” was written by Marshall Wilborn, presently bass player and sometimes singer with Michael Cleveland & Flamkeeper. Rhonda Vincent recorded it on one of her solo albums for Rebel about 20 years ago – perhaps the same album on which she recorded “Timeless And True Love”….

  8. Rick
    January 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Jon, thanks for the info as I’d never heard that song before Jeannie’s version. Always appreciated.

    Mike K said: “Only thing that came to mind for me was “Nickel in the Well” by Brian White. Whatever happened to that dude?”
    Mike, if you’ve heard Bryan White on the Opry in the last few years, just like the old grey mare his voice ain’t what it used to be. On the other hand its worth tracking down his top shelf version of “Rockin’ Robin” off the Traveller film soundtrack. That one’s a keeper for sure ’cause its like totally awesome dude. (Hey, I’m from LA…)

  9. sheldon
    January 30, 2011 at 3:07 am

    Dolly’s “I’ll Oilwells Love You”…not to be confused with a little ditty she wrote called “I Will Always Love You”

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