Song of the Day #2,935: ‘Love Can Go to Hell’ – Brandy Clark

brandy_clark_big_day_small_townCountry songwriter turned performer Brandy Clark received critical acclaim and modest commercial success with her 2013 debut 12 Stories, an album I called the 7th best of the current decade a couple of years back. It’s that good.

Three years later, Clark has released her sophomore effort, Big Day in a Small Town, and it’s another winner. It has some of the same tricks up its sleeve as 12 Stories — no-nonsense female protagonists, hard-luck stories, gently ribald humor. It could easily be titled 12 More Stories. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Clark is at her best when singing about lost causes and quiet warriors, like the young woman sadly revisiting her high school glory in ‘Homecoming Queen’ or the weary but hopeful working mom in ‘Three Kids No Husband.’ Her lyrics are brilliant in their observational simplicity.

I love her description of the woman with a “hairnet job at a diner down on Main” who “smokes a cigarette out by the loading dock and tries not to pick the polish off her nails.”

This album leans more toward upbeat, humorous songs than did its predecessor, and while I enjoy those quite a bit I’m a sucker for the downbeat tracks. For that reason I give the edge to Clark’s debut, but nevertheless, Big Day in a Small Town proves that she has a lot more stories to tell.

Love can go to your head
Like a shot of something strong
Love can go to your bed
And stay there all night long

Love can go on and on
Like a Sunday morning Sparrow
Love can go to your heart
Like a sweet talking arrow
Love can go to hell
In a broken heartbeat minute
That’s where I am
Without you in it
Every day is just
Another night by myself
Love can go to hell
Like roses in a vase of whiskey
Dying for the way
You used to kiss me
Heaven knows
I only wish you well
Oh but love, yeah
Love can go to hell

I can go to church
And fold these idle hands
I can go to work
Call some friends
Make some plans

I can get drunk on a Saturday night
And try to fall for someone new
But I’d just wake up hungover
Cursing the day I fell for you

Love can go to hell
In a broken heartbeat minute
That’s where I am
Without you in it
Every day is just
Another night by myself
Love can go to hell
Like roses in a vase of whiskey
Dying for the way
You used to kiss me
Heaven knows
I only wish you well

I don’t blame you at all
No, I don’t hate you at all
It’s all loves fault

So, love can go to hell
In a broken heartbeat minute
That’s where I am
Without you in it
Every day is just
Another night by myself
Love can go to hell
Like roses in a vase of whiskey
Dying for the way
You used to kiss me
Heaven knows
I only wish you well
Oh but love, yeah
Love can go to hell

Forever’s just a lie
That love will tell
So love, yeah
Love can go to hell

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,935: ‘Love Can Go to Hell’ – Brandy Clark

  1. Dana says:

    Her voice sounds like Mary Chapin Carpenter.

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