Song of the Day #2,312: ‘The Day She Got Divorced’ – Brandy Clark

brandy_clark_12_stories

Best Albums of the 10s So Far
#7 – Brandy Clark – 12 Stories

 
Last week I wrote about Kacey Musgrave’s excellent debut album. Well, Brandy Clark is the woman I hope Musgraves grows up to become.

The 35-year-old Washington native has carved out a career writing songs for other people (most notably Miranda Lambert and The Band Perry) but her solo debut, 12 Stories, is a true work of art.

Clark is undeniably a country artist, but her songs share much in common with folk and blues. If she reminds me of anybody, it’s Bonnie Raitt. She has that same world-weary authenticity.

The 12 songs that make up 12 Songs center on fed-up women and the men who’ve wronged them. I don’t know if Clark, a gay woman, has much experience in relationships like these or if she’s just an excellent fiction writer, but her characters feel fully-formed, more like the cast of a novel than a song.

When I first bought 12 Stories, won over by the lavish critical praise, I was a little worried to see that the first song is titled ‘Pray To Jesus.’ I can tolerate a little bit of religion in my country music, but not much.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the song chronicles hard-luck lower-middle-class people whose only hope for escape is the “pray to Jesus and play the Lotto” — activities she paints as equally fruitless. I knew right off the bat she was working on another level than most of her contemporaries.

Every song that followed confirmed that for me, making 12 Stories an easy pick for my top ten of the decade so far.

She got up and put her makeup on
Made a pot of coffee extra strong
At the kitchen table sucking on a cigarette

Read the paper in a cloud of smoke
While the dirty dinner dishes soaked
Woke up the kids and coaxed them out of bed

Then she burnt the toast just like the day before
The day she got divorced

Left the kids with the girl next door
Parked her car at the county court
Round and round ’bout the child support he’ll never pay

Judge said we’re gonna have to start
Without the party of the second part
Cause the party of the second part was MIA

He was getting drunk just like the day before
The day she got divorced

Didn’t feel any different than it ever had
She wasn’t that sorry, wasn’t that sad
Couldn’t love him any less or hate him anymore
The day she got divorced

Wasn’t working, had the whole day off
Bought a bottle then she called her boss
Waited for him at the motel lot til he got there

First he told her that her hair looked nice
Promised he was gonna leave his wife
Two more lies but she didn’t care

Cause it was just like every other day before
The day she got divorced

Didn’t feel any different than it ever had
She wasn’t that sorry, wasn’t that sad
Couldn’t love him any less or hate him anymore
The day she got divorced

Kids are yakking with their hungry mouths
Dog scratching laying on the couch
Think she really oughtta clean this house, but what the hell

Cause it’s just as dirty as the day before

Advertisements

One thought on “Song of the Day #2,312: ‘The Day She Got Divorced’ – Brandy Clark

  1. Dana says:

    This person is totally off my radar screen, but I am certainly curious to hear more based on your lavish praise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s