August 17, 2008
The invaluable ggcolumn pointed me to a fascinating interview with Wynonna that ran in The Capitol Times, a newspaper out of Madison, Wisconsin. She’s one of those rare icons who is compelling whether they’re speaking or singing. This particular quote from the interview has been lingering in my mind since I read it:
I don’t know how old you are, but when you’re that young, you’re God. You think you’re in control of everything. You think it’s “I” and then somewhere between 35 to 40, you realize it’s “we.” At that age, you could have all the wisdom in the world, but the brain is only capable of so much at that age. I traded in my youth card for my wisdom and experience card. (Pause.) It would be nice to have both, but I don’t think that’s realistic.
I wholeheartedly agree with her. My early twenties seem like a lifetime ago, which always reminds me of the line “I still remember when thirty was old” from “Strawberry Wine.” Now, thirty is next June.
Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines once spoke of how she always loved the song “Landslide” but never understood it until she was 27. When she shared that with songwriter Steve Nicks, she learned that’s how old Stevie was when she wrote it.
In an era where music by and for teens is thriving everywhere, even on the country chart, I find myself seeking out music informed by the wisdom and experience Wynonna spoke of. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “The Moon and St. Christopher” and Todd Snider’s “Age Like Wine” are two in that vein that I always come back to, as are Willie Nelson’s “Yesterday’s Wine” and more recently, Sugarland’s “Very Last Country Song.”
What are your favorite songs about time and the many changes it brings?