Drive-By Truckers, "World of Hurt", at KEXP

The song starts with guitars, bass, and drums, a walking rhythm with nondescript jangling laid over it. Then a man begins to slowly speak.
I was 27 years old when I figured out that blowing my brains out wasn't the answer
So I set out to find a way to make this mean old world work out for me
And my good friend Paul was 83 years old when he told me "To love is to feel pain"
I thought about that a lot back then and I think about that again and again
He's not singing, but the drums line up with the important syllables. It's like being talked to by a friend, a friend who figured something out and wants to save you the trouble.
No, it's a wonderful world, if you can put aside the sadness and hang on to every ounce of beauty upon you
Better take the time to know it there ain't no way around it
If you feel anything at all
This is a poetry reading set to music. This is a singer deciding that notes are beside the point.
So if what you've got is working for you or you think it might stand a reasonable chance
If what's broke seems fixable (ain't nothing lasts forever)
If you still look at each other and you smile before you remember how screwed up it's gotten or maybe you still dream of a time less rotten
Remember, it ain't too late to take a deep breath and throw yourself into it with everything you got
When I heard this, I cried. When I played it for my wife, she cried. I've heard the song twice now.
It's really great to be alive
It's really great to be alive
It's really great to be alive
It's really great to be alive
Emily Dickinson said, "if I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry." This song made me feel physically like my chest had been opened up. My heart struggled for freedom.

Kudos, guys.


  1. I haven't heard it -

    I cried anyway.

  2. Thanks - if my post had the power to do that, I'm honored. Though I stand on the shoulders of a very powerful song.

  3. Thank you...

    For a long time, I've felt there'e too much in my head (marriage, work, money, house, dog, family, worry worry worry etc etc etc, to have room for songs & music - I used to love music, I used to get teased about knowing all the words to all the songs - sometimes I come across a lyric, or a song on the Internet, and it's like being poleaxed.

  4. That quote from Emily Dickinson is arresting. Did people talk like that back then? It sounds so completely contemporary!

  5. Emily Dickinson was pretty far ahead of her time. She wasn't really a member of the literary establishment during her lifetime, so she felt free to break all kinds of rules. She's aged well.