11 May Biography makes a difference
Be who you know you are
Mandatory musical accompaniment to today’s post >>
Biography makes a difference. In your life, your attitude, your outlook and the choices you make.
It might not make much of a difference to the world, but the way you think of where you come from and what that makes you — strong, brave, heroic — makes you who you are. At least in part.
I was born in the backseat of a Mustang on a cold night in a hard rain. And the very first song that the radio sang was I WON'T BE HOME NO MORE.
And that’s all you gotta know, dammit. A complete story in two lines.
Won’t Be Home No More is a breakup song, or an I wanna breakup song or maybe an I wish I was strong enough to break up song from the Old 97s 2004 album Drag It Up and like most of the band’s best tunes, it’s the feeling of sheer desperation communicated through the band’s raw style and Rhett Miller’s voice that makes you pay attention.
But it’s the story of a couple arguing yet again in a compact car and the need to mythologize the night of his birth that gives the narrator strength.
The song the chorus calls out adds a really interesting layer. It’s a 1952 Hank Williams song of the same title released as a novelty breakup song where Hank’s narrator calls out his former sweetheart to say, “sorry, baby, but you’re too late.”
The singing radio
So back to that cold, rainy, presumably Texas night…
The Old 97s are a Texas band, and so we presume. But a cold, rainy night in the backseat of a Mustang is a universally attractive American image and we all understand it.
It’s not clear whether he actually kicks her out of the car or not. I prefer to think it’s the story – the legend – of the night of his birth that gives him the strength to carry on. But maybe I’m an optimist.
Look for the good stories, friends. And enjoy this song from the Listening Booth.
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