Now here’s a tune that goes way back.
When I first heard Hank Williams it was something of a revelation. I was just finishing up undergrad studies in Peterborough ON and had broken up with a really nice GF. It was mutual but it still hurt like hell. Especially when I saw her walking with a new beau, hand in hand, down the main drag.
I was driving a beat-up Dodge Dart (actually a Plymouth Scamp, which is the two-door version) and holy smokes, did my neck swerve when I saw those two together, happy as clams.
At moments like that you just have to clamp it down and keep on driving. And that’s what I did.
Now this song doesn’t remind me of her. We had good times and I certainly bear no hard feelings whatsoever.
But over the years it has reminded me of some relationships and especially wannabe relationships.
This is not one of Hank’s most popular songs. But I like it. I sang it a lot in India. All I had there for entertainment was my guitar, a Sony boombox, some watercolors and a few pastels. No TV, so lots of time to play music and pursue my youthful dream of becoming a successful performer, recording artist, whatever.
That never happened. And I think I probably drove a few people mad in the student complex where I lived in West Bengal. Nobody said anything but I’m not a great singer. Especially back then.
Nowadays, if I go to Mass my voice improves immeasurably. It’s like the Holy Spirit acts as a voicebox for me. It not only firms things up but also amplifies, elevates and gives me more confidence and vocal control.
What can I say?
Jesus is cool. He’s not some dour, authoritarian personality telling you to “go to confession or else…” Nope. He wants us to be happy. And he does make me happy. When I let him in, that is.
Hank knew about all this. Like most of us, he had his fair share of challenges and pain but never did he deny Christ. And maybe that’s partly why he is so incredibly great.
Here’s the dressed-up version of this song, with slide guitar and other backup instruments:
I like both. Depends on the mood… 🙂