Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hope and Change: Hold On

Tom Waits: Hold On


I thought that was a good thing to say in a song. Hold on. We're all holding onto something. None of us want to come out of the ground. Weeds are holding on. Everything's holding on. I thought that was a real positive thing to say. It was an optimistic song. Take my hand, stand right here, hold on. We wrote that together, Kathleen and I, and that felt good. Two people who are in love writing a song like that about being in love. That was good."

I flipped the channel away from the endless inauguration news yesterday to find myself hit in the heart by the unspeakably aching hopefulness of Hold On -- a song which I have heard covered so well, and so many times, I plumb forgot the sheer raw power of the original broken-voiced ballad.

We're fans of Tom Waits here, but there's always room for more, and this Grammy nominated cut, which forms the core and cornerstone of 1999 release Mule Variations, is a stellar addition to the mix. It's a good reminder, I think, that not all the things we hope for have come to fruition. Thanks, universe, for reminding me that there is always farther to go, always more to hold on to, always more to hope for.

Oh, and the covers? Here's two of my favorites:

Hold On: Redbird


Hold On: The Cottars


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