Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dance Music: I Can't Dance

Tom T. Hall: I Can't Dance


And now a word from the loyal opposition.

Not that I’m opposed to dancing. Not at all. It's just that, like Tom T. Hall sings here, “I Can’t Dance.” His song speaks the painful truth for those of us who love music, but who can’t manage to bring our arms, hips or feet to move in time with it.

If you listen to Tom T.’s music, his confession that he can't boogaloo with the best of them hardly comes as a surprise. Many superlatives can be used to describe his music; “danceable” isn’t one of them. "I Can't Dance" came out just as "The Storyteller" was hitting the bigtime, writing and singing songs like "Harper Valley PTA," "Ode Salute to a Switchblade" and "The Ballad of Forty Dollars." Great stories, told with wit and keen attention to detail. When a Tom T. Hall song came on the radio, you didn't dance to it; you sat there and you listened to it.

One person who sat and listened was Gram Parsons. He covered “I Can’t Dance” on his final record, Greivous Angel; because of that record’s fame, Parsons’s version is better known than the original, which first appeared on Hall’s 1970 record, 100 Children.

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