Posts Tagged ‘Townes Van Zandt’

‘Like A Summer Thursday’

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Grasping at straws this morning and trying to right my ship, I checked the tracks in the RealPlayer that had the word “Thursday” in their titles. There were three:

“Thursday” by Country Joe & The Fish, from their 1969 album I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die.

“Thursday” by Jim Croce, from his 1973 album I Got A Name.

And “Like A Summer Thursday” by Townes Van Zandt, from his 1969 album Our Mother The Mountain.

I knew the first two well. The Van Zandt, I’d no doubt heard but did not know well, so I let it play. And I was a little startled. From where I listen, much of the late singer/songwriter’s work has melancholy undercurrents. “Like A Summer Thursday,” however, has the melancholy right on the surface:

Her face was crystal
Fair and fine
Her breath was morning
Her lips were wine
Her eyes were laughter
Her touch divine
Her face was crystal
And she was mine

If only she
Could feel my pain
But feelin’ is a burden
She can’t sustain
So like a summer Thursday
I cry for rain
To come and turn
The ground to green again

If only she
Could hear my songs
’Bout the empty difference
’Tween the rights and wrongs
Then I know that I
Could stand alone
As well as they
Now that she’s gone

Her face was crystal
Fair and fine
Her breath was morning
Her lips were wine
Her eyes were laughter
Her touch divine
Her face was crystal
And she was mine

It’s a lovely track:

Some Townes & Willie To Tide You Over

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

As I wait for the landlord to come over and take care of a few minor business matters, I’m a little distracted as I keep an eye on the door. So I’m going to put off a major post until tomorrow, when I’ll have time to dig into something.

In the meantime, here’s one of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard. “Marie,” performed by the late Townes Van Zandt and Willie Nelson, comes from a series of duets Van Zandt recorded in the early 1990s. All-Music Guide says the recordings were intended for a Van Zandt box set.  Among the others with whom Van Zandt sang during the project were Kathy Mattea, Jerry Jeff Walker, Emmylou Harris, Freddy Fender and Doug Sahm.

The box set never came to be, but Texas Rain, a collection of twelve tracks from those sessions, was released in 2001, four years after Van Zandt’s death. There are a lot of other posthumous Van Zandt releases out there; I’ve dug into a few, but I keep going back to the spare sounds of Texas Rain. And “Marie” is the best thing on the CD.