A Bonnie Prince to sing you home through the darkness

The first time I heard this song, it came on in the background as I was working on a writing project. Something about it stopped me in my tracks and made me set aside my work and pay much closer attention to it.

The tune has a sweet, haunting quality, enhanced by Bonnie Prince Billy’s gentle delivery. It’ll get in your head pretty quickly. But on the second and third hearing, it’s the intelligence, humanity and brutal honesty of Will Oldham’s lyric that sets it apart from most of what pop music has to offer:

“Well, you’re my friend, (that’s what you told me)
And can you see (what’s inside of me)
Many times we’ve been out drinking
And many times we’ve shared our thoughts
But did you ever, ever notice, the kind of thoughts I got
Well you know I have a love, a love for everyone I know
And you know I have a drive to live I won’t let go
But could you see its opposition comes arising up sometimes
That its dreadful antiposition comes blacking in my mind

And then I see a darkness
And then I see a darkness
And then I see a darkness
And then I see a darkness
And did you know how much I love you
Is a hope that somehow you, you
Can save me from this darkness

Well I hope that someday buddy
We have peace in our lives
Together or apart
Alone or with our wives
And we can stop our whoring
And pull the smiles inside
And light it up forever
And never go to sleep
My best unbeaten brother
This isn’t all I see

Oh no, I see a darkness
Oh no, I see a darkness
Oh no, I see a darkness
Oh no, I see a darkness
And did you know how much I love you
Is a hope that somehow you, you
Can save me from this darkness.”

Oldham/Bonnie Prince Billy was once described as an “Appalachian post-punk solipsist,” which I guess is some fancy-dan way of saying the man is a damn fine songwriter.

– Jay Bookman

295 comments Add your comment

Mr. Snarky

February 1st, 2013
4:09 pm

Jay your html is showing. Linkee now workee.

Jay

February 1st, 2013
4:11 pm

Thanks for the heads up, Mr. Snarky. Should be OK now.

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 1st, 2013
4:13 pm

Oh no, I see a darkness
Oh no, I see a darkness
Oh no, I see a darkness
Oh no, I see a darkness
.
It’s never too late to put the darkness of the violent state behind thee………Bookman.
.
Choose the light
Choose Liberty.
Join the Ron Paul Army.
.
We get knocked down,but we get up again.
We get knocked down ,but we get up again.
You’re never gonna keep us down.
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LODkVkpaVQA

josef

February 1st, 2013
4:15 pm

JAY

Interesting, it is…thanks for posting the lyrics along with it…

josef

February 1st, 2013
4:20 pm

THOMAS

:-)

Meanwhile, of course, pissing the night away! Great song, BTW…

skipper

February 1st, 2013
4:20 pm

Cool song….he definitely is swinging from a cable, as it is for certain he has “smoked up” all the rope…..lol :)

Jay

February 1st, 2013
4:25 pm

Jay

February 1st, 2013
4:26 pm

BTW, anybody seen Jamvet around?

TBS

February 1st, 2013
4:28 pm

Jay

Read a post over at Kyle’s last weekend where he mentioned taking a break from both blogs. Said he might come around sometime for FNM.

Logical Dude

February 1st, 2013
4:28 pm

one of these days, I might be able to play this while at work :)
or getting off on Fridays early!

Mr. Snarky

February 1st, 2013
4:30 pm

Nice tune. Somebody should get him a mustache trimmer.

Jay

February 1st, 2013
4:30 pm

Thanks TBS.

Doing that has crossed my mind a time or two as well … :>)

josef

February 1st, 2013
4:30 pm

Trying to follow up on that one is a bit depressing, but then, this one came to mind. And even though it’s associated with Santana, she recorded it first…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfSrtd-MrZQ

Soothsayer

February 1st, 2013
4:31 pm

josef

February 1st, 2013
4:34 pm

JAY

Just remember, that fishing trip is coming…

TBS

February 1st, 2013
4:36 pm

Jay

February 1st, 2013
4:38 pm

No worries, Josef. That song selection in no way reflects my mood. I just know some people who have dealt with depression, most of them successfully.

A couple not.

I thought that song reflected a lot of what they were willing to communicate.

josef

February 1st, 2013
4:40 pm

SOOTh

Got that War-ishness to it…and, well, I know it’s f’ing freezing cold, but these days are coming, I promise…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biWA1i4CyvY

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 1st, 2013
4:40 pm

josef

February 1st, 2013
4:20 pm

THOMAS

Meanwhile, of course, pissing the night away! Great song, BTW…
————————————————————————————————–
Thanks Joseph…A great feel-good song.
I don’t understand how somepeople like be governed.
To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.
I personally want something else.
.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC1NR7AL_9s
.
I’m out and……………………..PEACE.

TBS

February 1st, 2013
4:46 pm

josef

February 1st, 2013
4:49 pm

TBS

I grew up with “that bunch of Bramletts!” Every one of them was a musician…it was (and BTW IS) in their blood…

josef

February 1st, 2013
4:51 pm

JAY

And that’s all I gotta say about that…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB42I5PO5_4

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
4:53 pm

Hi, gang.

To the point of my recent absence, I decided I didn’t like who I was when I was here.

So I’m working on fixing that.

Thanks for understanding, guys. And thanks, especially to you Jay. This FNM thing is pure gold and I do love it.

Another great selection to get us going.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0vKc3jIjDo

TBS

February 1st, 2013
4:54 pm

TBS

February 1st, 2013
4:57 pm

josef

February 1st, 2013
5:01 pm

THOMAS

Love that Third Eye Blind… :-)

ZamVet

What would FNM be without you!

josef

February 1st, 2013
5:04 pm

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
5:06 pm

TBS

February 1st, 2013
5:06 pm

TBS

February 1st, 2013
5:07 pm

josef

Petty is always a winner. Seen him twice, his band his tight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k64CrBxCAtI

johnnyP

February 1st, 2013
5:08 pm

I first heard the Johnny Cash cover of this tune.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txn1MiqJct4

Quite a contrast. His interpretation suits the song well. If you like Will Oldham’s songwriting, you should check out his first group, Palace Brothers. Especially the album “There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You”

St Simons - he-ne-ha

February 1st, 2013
5:14 pm

please if you or someone you know is fighting depression, see someone
like mrsstsimons, all crazy shawnee injun joking aside. It is not
a failure, or taboo, or anything else. If ‘they’ won’t go by themselves,
get them there. They can help. She lost one here this fall, in the
happiest place in Ga. It happens.
I always think of this Caole King song that saved, well, this guy –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BePDQ5iFi88

TBS

February 1st, 2013
5:16 pm

Simple yet such a groovy baseline…………. Takes the song to another lever imo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuRxXRuAz-I

indigo

February 1st, 2013
5:19 pm

josef

February 1st, 2013
5:19 pm

ZamVet

Well, the kinder gentler josef lasted 29 days! :-)

….and L-rd knows why THIS one came to mind…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CWEyKql0WY

Skip

February 1st, 2013
5:21 pm

I gotta learn to dance like that guy.

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
5:21 pm

Shake off your demon baby
And watch that angel go

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewJoJYlgj_w

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
5:25 pm

Jonix, 29 days?

Ah hell, I’m screwed!

Its easy to be smart
But it’s a struggle to be wise

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pMhk8-lSNM

TBS

February 1st, 2013
5:29 pm

Soothsayer

February 1st, 2013
5:31 pm

Soothsayer

February 1st, 2013
5:43 pm

pogo

February 1st, 2013
5:43 pm

josef, saw Petty at the Fox many years ago as opening act for the Kinks. As I was already a huge fan of both it has to be one of the most memorable of the many concerts I have ever attended. And I think Blondie may have been on the bill as well. Those were “heady” days, to say the least. If a band can reproduce music live onstage that is as good or better than the recorded version, that has always been a sign of whether real talent is involved. And both the Kinks and Petty have proven me to be right.

saywhat?

February 1st, 2013
5:45 pm

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
5:46 pm

pogo

February 1st, 2013
5:48 pm

TaxPayer

February 1st, 2013
5:49 pm

If anyone asks, Tell ‘em you been sitting on chimneys. Or something like that.

St Simons - he-ne-ha

February 1st, 2013
5:52 pm

TBS & Jam, I had those very two up in another window. Whoa man.

Soothsayer

February 1st, 2013
5:54 pm

Jam-man, you know that’s my favorite James Taylor song. Thanks for posting it!

TBS

February 1st, 2013
5:54 pm

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
5:56 pm

pogo, that 5:48 was great! You really do know the good stuff.

St. Simons, great minds and all that!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVOjLVEA3lU

indigo

February 1st, 2013
5:57 pm

josef

February 1st, 2013
5:57 pm

POGO

Much agreed!

**********************

D*mn, as Unmentionable says, is it wimp night on FNM ? :-)

Well, not to worry, help is on the way….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADlqo-2wYUI

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

February 1st, 2013
5:59 pm

Well, well Super Bowl Sunday. I might watch although I’m still po’ed that the Birds won’t be there. I will surely not watch that Bouncy woman at halftime. They should have halftime shows like this again. Good wholesome entertainment. No bleeping and no tee tee flashing. Rated G.

;)

http://youtu.be/Z4mTTigqTSA

pogo

February 1st, 2013
5:59 pm

Depression seems to be the normal state of being today for more and more people. And why not? Many may fool themselves but the reality of the human condition is ever present in the thinking people, no matter the political party. Of course, gladly, there aren’t that many thinking people left nowadays which may be another reason to be depressed. But at least the dullards won’t know what is going on until it slaps them in the face.

saywhat?

February 1st, 2013
6:01 pm

josef- 5:45 is wimp night?

TBS

February 1st, 2013
6:03 pm

Soothsayer

February 1st, 2013
6:04 pm

TBS

February 1st, 2013
6:05 pm

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

February 1st, 2013
6:06 pm

indigo Wayne Cochran of Thomaston, GA. Best hair evah! (I know a cousin of his.)

His biggest hit, based on a real incident on US 41 in Barnesville.

http://youtu.be/yKDMRZv4SYc

TaxPayer

February 1st, 2013
6:06 pm

josef

February 1st, 2013
6:07 pm

saywhat

:-) I suppose it’s a matter of perspective!

TBS

February 1st, 2013
6:11 pm

godless

You sport hair like that you must be a BAAAD man…………..

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
6:12 pm

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

February 1st, 2013
6:12 pm

Well if you are depressed, remember Braves pitchers and catchers report in 10 days.

http://youtu.be/yKDMRZv4SYc

Tom Middleton

February 1st, 2013
6:16 pm

Like fertilizer to the plant, depression can be useful if you know what to do with it, like, you know, reach toward the light. It’s all about love, my friend, and learning to see God (the unlimited real you) in everyone.

Meanwhile, there’s always great music to keep us going, and thanks for the song. Sooooo here’s Mr. John Lee Hooker (again). For some reason, I can’t get enough of this great blues man these days, and I’ve been looking for a best reason to play this one for quite awhile now! So thanks again, sir. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlwJRk09I5U&NR=1&feature=endscreen

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

February 1st, 2013
6:17 pm

Jay, I suggest you check out an old documentary called “Shamrock and Roll”, it has a guy from the band Planxty playing an old song and it also covers the Pogues.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

February 1st, 2013
6:19 pm

Forever I had wanted to see High Chaparall – a great memory from my childhood — and they were showing it the other day – two episodes back-to-back!

On…ummm…”the Inspiration Network”??

I was thinking, no no no, Manolito spends every episode trying to get into the Hispanic women’s pants” and then I thought “Ahhh, yes, Inspiration!” So, it all makes sense. And the shows were both very good.

And, get this, there is a High Chaparall THEME PARK in Sweden that’s been going since the late 60’s!!

WTF?

So of course I had to see if they had a restaurant and they did. so I had to check the menu, which I did.

Mixed in with the ribs, the steak, the pork loins, and chicken wings they have schnitzel….oh yeah….pack up the family, baby, we are going to Sweden…

F. Sinkwich

February 1st, 2013
6:19 pm

“BTW, anybody seen Jamvet around?”

Yeah, I have.

I saw him cleaning out the Port-A-Potti behind the Pinetree Shopping Center in Doraville.

Looks like they gave him a new truck.

Soothsayer

February 1st, 2013
6:25 pm

Well, I just checked: it’s 35 outside but 78 here on the inside. Lovin’ it!

indigo

February 1st, 2013
6:25 pm

St Simons - he-ne-ha

February 1st, 2013
6:26 pm

yes josef, like the great shawnee parable says – “the id goes marching
on, but the ego keeps tripping him up”

josef

February 1st, 2013
6:27 pm

TOM

Amen! But some folks had rather be miserable. Go figure.

SINKWICH

We like ZamVet. Especially on Friday night….

You? Well…

TBS

February 1st, 2013
6:31 pm

Sink

Guess you were just “cruising” around, huh?

F. Sinkwich

February 1st, 2013
6:32 pm

“We like ZamVet. Especially on Friday night….

You? Well…”

Not so much. Even during the rest of the week.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

February 1st, 2013
6:32 pm

Well, I just checked: it’s 35 outside but 78 here on the inside. Lovin’ it!

TAKER!!!!!

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
6:32 pm

…Braves pitchers and catchers report in 10 days.

Woo Hoo!

Wayne Cochran?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCXK8yB4T6M

TBS

February 1st, 2013
6:34 pm

Dedicated to Sink and his “cruising” behind shopping center escapades

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD_DyoB4Cjs

Everyone have a great FNM and an even better weekend

peace

F. Sinkwich

February 1st, 2013
6:34 pm

“Guess you were just “cruising” around, huh?”

Apple maps issue, actually. Programmed it for The High Museum. I know the way by heart, but I was distracted by Bach.

Soothsayer

February 1st, 2013
6:36 pm

Just 38 more days until Master’s week begins. Spring will be here before you know it!

josef

February 1st, 2013
6:38 pm

He-ne-ha

Ain’t it the truth!

Soothsayer

February 1st, 2013
6:39 pm

Ooooops! make that 69 days! Sorry ’bout that!

Tom Middleton

February 1st, 2013
6:42 pm

Josef

“Yeah, yeah” -Mr. John Lee Hooker

Self-indulgence, especially with something like depression, is an obstacle to living in the here and now, my friend. And since God is essentially the right here and now without end… Oh “yeah, yeah”! :)

Earth,Wind & Fire

February 1st, 2013
6:48 pm

josef

February 1st, 2013
7:02 pm

Jm

February 1st, 2013
7:03 pm

I support commie beer

Free

Not really :)

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
7:09 pm

Love EWF!

And at the other end of the musical spectrum…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M7gKZqgHn4

That Black Guy

February 1st, 2013
7:10 pm

Jam, please don’t take this wrong…

“To the point of my recent absence, I decided I didn’t like who I was when I was here. So I’m working on fixing that.” – JamVet

Please do. I really used to like reading what you had to say. You are a smart guy and funny as heck (as long as it’s not political).

That Black Guy

February 1st, 2013
7:16 pm

Time to UATAO.

Every one have a great weekend.

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
7:18 pm

TBG, thanks for sharing.

You’re a better man than me, but like I said, I’m working on it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnaN0dAIUQs

Tom Middleton

February 1st, 2013
7:30 pm

“When it comes to perception, it’s all in there, of course, but anyplace we’re stuck is the exact wrong place.” -Thomas Jefferson :)

Tom Middleton

February 1st, 2013
7:32 pm

And where is Kam these days?

Joy and Pain...

February 1st, 2013
8:01 pm

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
8:08 pm

Tom, if he’s in that NC hamlet, he may be freezing his tookus off…

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
8:18 pm

Prog, funk, jazz soul fusion.

Maze was awesome.

This song just ate up the radio in 1973…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1DDgNCLD84

Tom Middleton

February 1st, 2013
8:20 pm

Jam

I just hope he’s OK and hurries back. I can’t do TJ nearly as well as he can. :)

getalife

February 1st, 2013
8:28 pm

“There are some people in politics and in the press who can’t be confused by the facts,” she said. “They just will not live in an evidence-based world. And that’s regrettable. It’s regrettable for our political system and for the people who serve our government in very dangerous, difficult circumstances.”

At the same time, Clinton said she refused to be “discouraged by the fact that they are never going to accept the facts and the limitations of the facts.” She added that “you have to get up every day and work to do best you can and communicate that to the vast majority of fair-minded Americans whether they’re in Congress, in the press or in the public.”

Good advice.

josef

February 1st, 2013
8:30 pm

ZamVet

Love that Isley Bros…

so, what’s he gotta go to NC for to freeze his tuchus off, he could do that right here tonight…

USA Patriot

February 1st, 2013
8:31 pm

JamVet – Not sure what you’re going through but I hope it works out well for you.

“To the point of my recent absence, I decided I didn’t like who I was when I was here.

So I’m working on fixing that.”

Lessoned to be learned by this person as well.

Thanks!

Recon 0311 2533

February 1st, 2013
8:32 pm

JamVet

February 1st, 2013
8:44 pm