Song of the Day #2,615: ‘Little Angel, Little Brother’ – Lucinda Williams

sweetoldworldToday’s album is the first in my top ten 1992 records that I discovered well after the year it was released. Lucinda Williams simply wasn’t on my radar back then.

But she was very much on my radar a decade later, after I fell in love with Car Wheels On a Gravel Road and started gobbling up the rest of her catalog.

Sweet Old World is Williams’ fourth album, and a close cousin to the 1988 self-titled record that established her as a songwriting force. The songs are short and sweet, often romantic.

Several songs on this album center on the suicide of a close friend, and today’s SOTD (‘Little Angle, Little Brother’) is situated among them in a way that suggests the deceased party might have been Williams’ own brother. That’s not the case, but this song certainly has a melancholy air that invites the connection.

It would be six years before Williams released another album, the fussed-over masterpiece Car Wheels On a Gravel Road, after which she became much more prolific. But despite being lost a bit in that shuffle, Sweet Old World remains a highlight of her discography.

Your R&B records your music books
Your sense of humor and your rugged good looks

I see you now at the piano
Your back a slow curve
Playing Ray Charles and Fats Domino
While I sang all the words

Little angel, little brother
Your bad habits and your attitude
Your restless ways and your solitude

I see you leaning your lanky frame
Just inside the door
A figure behind the kitchen screen
Staring down at the floor

Little angel, little brother

Little angel, little brother

Your passion for Shakespeare and your paperbacks
Your chess pieces and your wisecracks

I see you sleeping in the car
Curled up on the back seat
Parked outside of a bar
An empty bottle at your feet

Little angel, little brother

Your R&B records your music books
Your sense of humor and your rugged good looks

I see you now at the piano
Your back a slow curve
Playing Ray Charles and Fats Domino
While I sang all the words

Little angel little brother
Little angel little brother of mine

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,615: ‘Little Angel, Little Brother’ – Lucinda Williams

  1. Dana says:

    Still a bit too sleepy and drunk sounding vocally for my taste.

  2. Rob says:

    This is one of my favorite Lucinda Williams songs. Love the melody, love the lyric.

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