“Days full of rain” or what I aspire to in song writing.
I am a literal soul. I want things to be clear, I want to know, sometimes I even want to understand. As a result, I get frustrated when I hear a song and the lyrics don’t make total sense to me. Funny thing, though… my favorite songs are the ones that hook for the way they make me feel, not the literal meaning of the words, and then, as I learn more about the songs, they sink their hooks even deeper into me. And the very best don’t transform lead into gold, but rather weave gold into jewelry. In other words, the lyrics and music are both equally precious and together they become art. So what song stands above all others for me? What’s the one song in the universe that I hope to possibly equal (hah!) or at least approach in quality someday?
Townes Van Zandt’s “Flying Shoes”, which opens with the line “Days full of rain”.
I first heard this song at a Lyle Lovett concert, then learned it was on Lovett’s album “Step Inside This House”, which I owned. Somehow, I had passed over this song! HOW? Anyway, I dug up the album, found the song and hit play. It was even better than I remembered, and every time I listen to it, even now after so many years, it is better still. Recently, I actually took the time to find Townes’ version and it’s great, but Lyle’s version is the one for me.
In fact, this song hits me so hard, I fear listening to it. I know what it’s going to put me through and most days I’m just not up for it. But if I do hit play, I will hit it again and again and again. There is something about the way words and chords combine in this song that is related to how my DNA combines. It is woven into me.
Have a listen.
And here is Townes' version, the original.