Song of the Day #3,147: ‘Heartache is an Uphill Climb’ – Tift Merritt

tift_stitch_world‘Heartache is an Uphill Climb’ is the second track and first single on Tift Merritt’s Stitch of the World.

I’ve heard Merritt compared to a host of artists. Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, Sheryl Crow. One recent reviewer wrote that she lives at the midpoint between Emmylou Harris and Joni Mitchell, a description I like. Many write-ups of today’s SOTD compare her vocals to Dolly Parton.

My feeling is that six studio albums into a career that has spanned country, folk, blues and rock, Merritt has carved out her own niche and earned the right to not be described in terms of other people. I suppose that’s a by-product of a lack of fame.

For those of us who know her well, ‘Heartache is an Uphill Climb’ is quintessential Tift Merritt. It’s quiet and intimate before morphing into something hopeful and expansive, a celebration that starts off like an elegy.

How does the scar forgive the knife?
How does the pride forget the fight?
The one that laid it down so low
The one still throwing tall shadows

Tell me, tell me

I heard that it was step by step
That it takes time, time, time
The going it is slow, slow, slow
Heartache is an uphill climb

A broken heart holds only fear
What I told mine through my tears
Whatever it is that you feel
You must be bigger than this hill best be bigger than this hill

Believe me. believe me

So I went step by step…

Uphill, steep steep steep
I got a lot in front of me
I’ll never make it there to see
If I am carrying your memory

So I go to go step by step….

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,147: ‘Heartache is an Uphill Climb’ – Tift Merritt

  1. Peter says:

    It’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand I often compare artists with other artists (of course even Tift). It happens automatically when you try get a clearer understanding of what you are listening to. On the other hand: Her style is so unique that she actually mustn’t be compared with others. This song is a well-fitting example for the second thought.

  2. Dana says:

    A lovely song, though I don’t think this will be the single that delivers a hit or fame.

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