Song of the Day #4,052: ‘Woody’ – Hootie & the Blowfish

Ever since The Beatles released the white album, it seems every band feels the need to put out a mid-career self-titled record.

For Hootie & the Blowfish, that time came in 2003. Hootie & the Blowfish was the first album of original material by the band in five years, and the first without producer Don Gehman. Instead, Grammy-winning producer Don Was took the reins and brought more of a pop sheen to the music.

While Hootie had lost their shine over the band’s first few albums, they still managed to sell pretty well. Both Cracked Rear View and Fairweather Johnson topped Billboard’s album list, and even the little-remembered Musical Chairs made it to #3.

This album, however, made it no higher than #46 on that list. In part, that was because 2003 was the beginning of a massive decline in album sales (1999, the all-time peak, saw 300 million more units sold overall) and a year before downloads became a thing.

But it’s also pretty clear that Hootie & the Blowfish were destined to be a 90s phenomenon and not an act that would thrive in the new millennium.

Hootie & the Blowfish is a solid album, though with fewer instantly memorable songs than its predecessors.

‘Woody’ is one of my favorites, and not just because I suspect it’s a tribute to Woody Harrelson, a longtime friend of Rucker’s.

[Verse 1]
Can you see me there when I’m standing alone?
How did you know I needed you here?
Can you feel the screams from the depth of my soul?
Is that what makes you appear?
See, I often wonder, in the presence of this all
What we did to become this way
And, I’ll never forget when you whispered to me
You said, don’t worry it’ll be ok

[Chorus]
Sometimes the sun calls our names
And, sometimes we listen
Sometimes the devil’s there, but we just can’t go with him

[Verse 2]
Can you hear me now when I’m standing this close?
Can I tell you one of my fears?
See, I hope you live to sing when I die
‘Cause if you’re gone, I don’t think I want to be here no more
‘Cause sometimes the sun calls our names
And, sometimes we listen
And, sometimes the devil’s there
But we just can’t go with him

[Chorus]
Sometimes the sun calls our names, oh, no
Sometimes we listen
Sometimes the devil’s there
But we just can’t go with him

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,052: ‘Woody’ – Hootie & the Blowfish

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    It’s interesting that Rucker transitioned into country music around this time since that was the one genre that continued to boast healthy album sales.

  2. Amy says:

    After reading your post, I was not ready for the somewhat sad opening. You think he was worried about his good friend spiraling? Lovely song… interesting that they turned to Don Was despite the fact that this song, at least, doesn’t need that pop sheen.

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