Song Premiere: Rod Picott — “Milkweed”

Juli Thanki | February 10th, 2014

This morning, we’re glad to premiere “Milkweed,” a track from Rod Picott’s new album, Hang Your Hopes on a Crooked Nail (if that phrase sounds familiar, you probably heard it when Picott’s longtime friend and frequent co-writer, Slaid Cleaves, recorded the song that lyric comes from, “Dreams,” on Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away).  Here’s what Picott had to say about this song, a poignant ballad in which he contemplates the inevitable passing of his parents:

This is my version of a William Carlos Williams poem. I used more words the he did but mine is pretty good too. It’s an unusual perspective to write from. I’ve never discussed this before but this is the second time I wrote by putting myself into the future. Not the distant future, but the not too distant future. The other time is when I wrote “Haunted Man” for the first album. In that case I could see where my relationship was headed and asked myself, “what are you gonna feel like?” That’s how I wrote Haunted Man. This time I was thinking about my folks and about my father specifically. He’s not an old man. He’s in his mid 70s. He has Keith Richards genes. They live forever on Picott road. Tar, alcohol and farming accidents be damned, they just keep grumbling along singing the wrong words to whatever song they’re singing. He worked very hard though and I can see it in his eyes. Welding is not interchangeable with accountancy. Both are difficult I’m sure but the scars from addition and subtraction don’t whittle your arms like pine. I’m guessing anyway. So this is a simple song about the guy I had a difficult time with as a young man and have grown close to over many years and how and why I will one day miss him very much. I thought I’d say it now instead of waiting. He never says anything about the records anyway. He just quotes them to me from time to time on his way out the door to his lawn tractor. My brother and I bought it for him brand god damn new. And when it breaks down we’re going to buy him another one.

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