In something of a contrast to the last post, today’s is a simple, fragile acoustic song. In fact, when I first heard this I thought it was being played on ukulele.
My first introduction to this song was via a duet version with Gillian Welch , more specifically this version where Gillian and partner Dave Rawlings joined Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes for an encore in Austin, Texas. That led me back to the original, which is even more sparse – just Conor and an acoustic guitar, capo-ed up high (which might explain why I thought it was a ukulele).
Such treatment clearly suits a song which is not going to make it onto the list of “jolly” and uplifting ukulele songs that seem to form the repertoire of most ukulele groups. Instead this is a song that deals with struggles of depression and addiction. I’ve written before on here of my inclination towards less cheery songs (a quick scan through the list of songsheets I’ve published will confirm that!), and this is just further evidence of that. But for me, a single strummed ukulele is the perfect setting for a song like this.
The song is a relatively simple one – mostly standard chords (with the exception of that Bm9 thrown in towards the end), and benefits from a fairly constant strumming all the way through. Probably best played solo (I think a mass group rendition would somehow lose the sparse fragility of the song), this is one to dig out for those quiet, introspective moments. But enjoy!