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


LYRICS:

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

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0423853/reference

 

 

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)