Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Tanya Tucker, “Two Sparrows in a Hurricane”

“Two Sparrows in a Hurricane”

Tanya Tucker

Written by Mark Allan Springer

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

November 27, 1992

A tender tale of a love that spans generations.

The Road to No. 1

After topping the charts with “Down to My Last Teardrop,” Tanya Tucker scored three more top five hits from her platinum-selling What Do I Do With Me set: the title track, “Some Kind of Trouble,” and “If Your Heart Ain’t Busy Tonight.”  During this album cycle, she was named CMA’s Female Vocalist of the Year.

Tucker previewed her next album with “Two Sparrows in a Hurricane,” which returned her to the top of the charts.

The No. 1

The structure sounds a little familiar, I’m sure.

Kathy Mattea scored two signature hits – “Love at the Five and Dime” and “Where’ve You Been” – with the “three scenes from a life-long love affair” framework.  Collin Raye enjoyed his breakthrough hit less than a year earlier with a truncated version that spanned only two verses.

But who cares if the story beats are borrowed when the characters are drawn this well?

“Two Sparrows in a Hurricane” packs some extra punch by acknowledging that aging in and of itself is a hell of a life challenge, though it uses a bit of humor by repeating the “he’s barely driving a car” line that was first applied to the young man just getting his license in the first verse.

Tucker’s grit as a vocalist also fits the sentiment well, and she fills in some of the darker elements that the lyrics only hint at with her masterclass performance.

The Road From No. 1

Tucker received several award nominations for the single and video of this song, taking home the ACM Music Video trophy.  She still has one last No. 1 hit on deck, too.  We’ll cover it in early 1993.

“Two Sparrows in a Hurricane” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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Next: George Strait, “I Cross My Heart”

5 Comments

  1. This is one of my favorite Tanya Tucker songs of all time, and it’s one of hers from this time period that brings back the most childhood memories for me. Just the opening with the keyboards really takes me back to good times! I’ve always loved her voice and performance on it, which was an excellent fit for the story/subject matter. Like Kevin, I’ve also always liked the cleverness in how “He’s barely driving a car” was used twice. I’ve always liked the lines “The world says they’ll never make it. Love says they will,” as well. I really miss beautiful songs like this that had charming storylines and characters you could really root for.

    Once again, I have this gem on one of my all time favorite tapes that I recorded in early 1993, which also includes some other classics already featured here (more details on that tape coming soon). This song and so many others on that tape have been such a big part of my childhood! It’s also one of the main songs from this late 1992-early 1993 period that really brings back great memories of the earliest times my parents and I spent in our current house, not long after we moved in. This is also one of the 90’s Tanya songs besides “It’s A Little Too Late” that pretty much remained a steady recurrent for us throughout the rest of the decade and into the early 00’s.

    This late 1992-early 1993 period is another one of my favorite Fall/Winter era’s in the 90’s, and I’m pretty excited for the next several number ones coming up! :)

  2. Great song that has become more meaningful as I age and see this pattern applying to many of my contemporaries. At her best, Tanya was one of the elite vocalists of her generation

  3. Tanya Tucker may have been the only country act to survive the “country purge”, that horrible time in the early 90s when anyone who had had a hit song in the 1970s was banished from country radio. For people of my generation, this was devastating.

    But thankfully, Tucker somehow survived – and thrived – for at least a few more years. She also released some of her best work during this time. “Two Sparrows In A Hurricane” was my favorite of her hits during this time. What a talent.

    Put Tucker in the Country Music Hall Of Fame already!!!!!

  4. I think this song is noteworthy because of the vulnerability Tucker brings to it. Her gritty vocals, and tough persona, prove the adage that true strength often masquerades as weakness.

    This is one of the most important songs of the early nineties. Certainly a classic Tanya Tucker ballad if not simply another classic country song from a female artist in 1992.

  5. caj – Agree with you all the way! The fact that she went on to give us more classics like this song in the early 90’s is just another reason why I’m so glad Tanya was one of the ones spared during that 70’s and 80’s veteran “purge.” The late 80’s and early 90’s is personally my favorite era of her career.

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