Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Silver threads

I have a weird obsession with the song "Silver Threads and Golden Needles". Not specifically because of the song. It is a song I grew up with. My mom really liked Linda Ronstadt, so it was one of the songs I heard.

And of course, it has an important message, "Rich people are fucking garbage", that's always worth coming back to.

Having grown up, the thing that confounds me is that there's a verse that disappeared. It's in the original by Wanda Jackson.

Over the years, The Everly Brothers, The Springfields, Janis Joplin, Dolly Parton, Patty Loveless, Johnny Rivers, Loretta Lynn, The Cowsills, Sandy Denny, The Brothers Four, Brenda Lee and Skeeter Davis and, of course, Linda Ronstadt all stick to that one verse, repeating it over and over as if wishing there was more, which is bizarre since there is... and it's even fucking better.

No, it's way fucking better!

"I grew up in in faded gingham, where love is a sacred thing.
You grew up in silk and satin, where love's a passin' game.
I know now you never loved me, and I know I was the fool
To think your pride would let you live by the golden rule."

I mean, it's not a competition. It just takes what the first verse begins and takes it all the fucking way, like a next verse does.

And with at least half those artists, it would fit better with their image and what not. I can not, for the life me, figure out how that verse got essentially lost.

There's an early demo with the Grateful Dead doing it without that verse, but also a live version in which they open with it.

There's also a mildly reggae tinged version by Molly Sue Gonzalez and the Mean, Mean, Men that puts it back.

So, as far as I can tell, that brings it up to three version out of a few dozen. I'm curious how it got dropped in the first place.

But I'm also curious how none of those people ever had it brought to them to re-discover and add back at any point. Like I said, a number of these artists have images well suited to that verse. It seems like someone around them might have brought it to their attention.

As a footnote, might I also add that anyone who was interested enough to read this post might be interested in Cocaine & Rhinestones, a podcast by Tyler Mahan Coe about 20th Century Country Music that's consistently entertaining and wonderful. It's kind of my current obsession, and I'm slightly annoyed it doesn't come out faster.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Google Analytics