Nov. 27, 2020

EP 4:The story behind the song | Long Tall Man

In SONGBIRD's latest "behind the song" episode, we tackle the story behind Long Tall Man (track four from Heaven Get behind Me). Inspired by Ry Cooder's score for Paris, Texas (by way of a Blind Willie Johnson cover) and a documentary about Townes Van Zandt - this song is pure minimalism.

We talk through the obstacles in the songwriting process, listen to the demo version, examine the technical choices, then we hear the final mastered version of the track


Long Tall Man

20% wine all of the time

Three months in a hospital

Burning his mind

Until he can’t remember

What he forgot


Don’t know if I’m good or bad

Just nothing but what you tell me

She had a gift for taking things away

So please tell me some precious things

Like when I was a boy,

And I was the new kid


I drink my fill in the morning

Bring me a little mercy

Long tall man

Can’t go home that a-way

burning nothing but bad gasoline


Suzanne, I don’t know you so well

But if he loves you, I love you too

You can’t go home today, girl

You ain’t going home

You can’t go home today, girl

You ain’t going home


RY COODER/Paris, Texas OST


PARIS, TEXAS/Directed by Wim Wenders



Townes Van Zandt


BE HERE TO LOVE ME/Directed by Margaret Brown



BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON/Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground


SON HOUSE/ Levee Camp Moan


THE INNOCENCE MISSION/Rain (Setting out in the leaf Boat)


Brenda Cullerton (author)