Sunday, February 10, 2013

"Ruby" by David Rawlings with Gillian Welch

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. The two partners; in life as well as music; have given me more joy through their music than you can imagine. Their music is pure Americana, drawing on the roots of gospel, rhythm and blues, folk and a touch of bluegrass thrown in for good measure. They are the archetypical troubadours of their time.

In this song from 2009, Ruby’s lover laments that he has been unable to climb her golden stairs, which lead to the paradise he feels could be theirs if only she would let him in. But he also realizes that she is surrounded by her luxuries; indeed she is trapped by them, inside a tower that hasn’t got a door. So, not only can’t she get out, he can’t get in, unless she “lets down her golden hair.”

He compares himself to an old time telegraph man, with a single purpose in mind; to repair that which is broken. Sadly, he realizes that certain things; once broken; can never be fixed. A beautiful, haunting song, this one makes you marvel at what can be done with 4 simple chords. This performance is from an NPR “Tiny Desk” concert which aired on February 5th, 2010. The song was written by Ms. Welch.

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