Townes Van Zandt: The Hole
Townes Van Zandt: Marie
This song is from 'No Deeper Blue', one of the post-Poppy Records albums of Townes Van Zandt's that shines very brightly.for me. There's a one-two punch here for me. 'The Hole' and 'Marie'.
'The Hole' is easily one of the scariest songs I've ever heard. ..not its SOUND (which IS kind of ominous on his Sugar Hill CD) but the words that do it for me. It's a harrowing archetypal parable that cuts right through flesh to the living bone.
Though I love the studio/band version to death, (Phillip Donnelly's guitar playing is terrifying in its dark majesty), it's hearing Townes solo and
unadorned playing & singing his words and music that opens up a different meaning to his words. I played this song in Drug Rehabs by myself for a couple of years when I was doing 'Special Population' shows. It was part of an hour presentation I did of songs and received wisdom. This was my peak; the next to last song in the set. The words have deep connection to anyone who has been a slave to an addiction of ANY kind.
'Marie' on the other hand, maybe one of the SADDEST songs I ever heard, a small cinematic portrait of a proud but beaten homeless man and his love. It gives us a list of situations not unknown to those of us who have been homeless, even briefly. If you've been lucky enough not to be so down that you got THERE, maybe this won't hit you at all. On the other hand, if you have even half a heart
you'll feel this one, deep.
Townes' legacy is dark, sad and scary sometimes.
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