Click on the headline to link to YouTube film clip of Lucinda Williams performing Sweet Old World
Sweet Old World, Lucinda Williams, Chameleon Records, 1993
The first song of Lucinda Williams that I remember hearing, song of her own that is, I had heard her do an excellent tribute cover of Hank Williams’ Cold, Cold Heart and a contribution to a Mississippi John Hurt’s tribute album, was Lake Charles. That song about listening to Howlin’ Wolf, chasing after corner boy-less boys with big flash cars, and dealing with back roads fatal dreams told me here was kindred spirit. And being French-Canadian (on my mother’s side) I sensed that mystic cajun-rooted arcadian longing connection from when we were altogether as one tribe up in Nova Scotia and places like that. That was just my sense of the thing though.
Recently I did a short review of a Roy Orbison’s Greatest Hits CD where I mentioned that growing up, early teenage early 1960s growing up, Roy spoke to our angst about facing a world we didn’t create, about how to deal with, ah, girls, and how to be cool around them. (I don’t know if I would have been able to articulate it exactly that way but there you are.) Lucinda Williams speaks to a different angst, adult angst, maybe, about never drawing a break, about one night’s, about drunken days, about the debris of society, about broken dreams, or no dreams. But also about a kind of stoic perseverance in this sweet old world. Maybe that is really where the kinship lies.