Song of the Day #3,340: ‘Only the Song Survives’ – John Hiatt

John Hiatt is a singer-songwriter worthy of more attention than I’ve ever given him. I own a couple of his albums and know some of his most famous songs (Bonnie Raitt’s ‘Thing Called Love,’ ‘Have a Little Faith’). But I haven’t listened to him, not really.

2000’s Crossing Muddy Waters is one of the Hiatt albums I own. It’s a stripped-down acoustic record of mostly heartbreak songs and though I can’t remember the last time I listened to it (probably the year it came out), sampling its tracks just now I didn’t come across a weak one.

Hiatt could be a good candidate for a career retrospective on the blog but the guy has released more than 20 albums. Maybe I’ll spend a week on the highlights someday.

I woke her up twice in the middle of the night
To ask what her name is and where she might live
To ask how many fingers she saw in this light
To ask if she might know what gives

She said we rolled that Camaro like a cowboy cigarette
Out on the highway in a puddle of beer
That’s just about how close to death you’re gonna get
‘Till the only thing standing is fear

Oh darling, faces will change
The names of the innocent, the story at five
Oh darling, places get strange
But only the song survives

She said, well don’t you remember they put a patch on your eye
Like Dread Pirate Roberts, you looked so unplanned
They cut off my wedding ring and you started to cry
A one-eyed Niagara Falls man

Cryin’, oh darling, faces will change
The names of the innocent, the story at five
Oh darling, places get strange
But only the song survives

Well I never married – I said with surprise
And is this the diamond you said that you lost
It was under my eyelids when they flushed out my eyes
Hell and I don’t know what the thing costs

Singing, oh darling, faces will change
The names of the innocent, the story at five
Oh darling, places get strange
But only the song survives

Singing, oh darling, faces will change
The names of the innocent, the story at five
Oh darling, faces get strange
But only the song survives

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,340: ‘Only the Song Survives’ – John Hiatt

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I like his sound from what I know and have heard.

  2. Rob says:

    John Hiatt is one of my favorite all-time songwriters. I’ve seen him here in Montreal at least 5 times, his shows are not to be missed. Brilliant songwriter – does not get the recognition he truly deserves.

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