Song Lyric Sunday – I’m a Little Bit Country

Jim Adams, our host for Song Lyric Sunday, has given us Country Music this week. Being a big city girl I was never really into country music growing up. I was not familiar with it at all. However after living in Texas for a number of years, I opened my senses to it and was pleasantly surprised. In recent years country has a lot of crossover into other genres and has an immense appeal to most audiences. I am sharing a song by an artist I really like. Her style combines elements of Bluegrass, Appalachian, Folk and Country. I think this particular choice fits the bill for today. It is Gillian Welch singing ‘The Way It Goes’

The Song

I was unable to find any background for the writing of The Way It Goes but being a country song it tells its own story.

The song is from the album The Harrow & the Harvest. The fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Gillian Welch. It was Welch’s first album in eight years and was released on June 28, 2011. The album was nominated for Best Folk Album for the 54th Grammy Awards.

The eight years since the release of 2003’s Soul Journey marked the longest period of time between album releases for Welch. In explaining the relatively long recording absence, Welch said, “The sad truth is we never liked anything enough to put it out, which is not a pleasant place to be.” She added, “over the course of that time that we were quiet we probably had enough songs to put out two or three records. Actually we made a few tentative steps at trying to record, but inevitably the heart would go out of it when we realized that we simply didn’t like the material enough to go on with it.” Welch frequently performed the song “The Way It Will Be” in years prior to the release of the album. Welch explains that this tense time period inspired the album title: “Our songcraft slipped and I really don’t know why. It’s not uncommon. It’s something that happens to writers. It’s the deepest frustration we have come through, hence the album title.”[3] The writing process involved “this endless back and forth between the two of us,” Welch said, stating that “It’s our most intertwined, co-authored, jointly-composed album.” John Dyer Baizley provided artwork for the album.

Courtesy of Wiki

The Lyrics

Becky Johnson bought the farm
Put a needle in her arm
That's the way that it goes
That's the way

And her brother laid her down
In the cold Kentucky ground
That's the way that it goes
That's the way

That's the way that it goes
Everybody's buying little baby clothes
That's the way that it ends
Though there was a time when she and I were friends

Well, Miranda ran away
Took her cat and left LA
That's the way that it goes
That's the way

She was busted, broke and flat
Had to sell that pussy cat
That's the way that it goes
That's the way

That's the way that it goes
Everybody's buying little baby clothes
That's the way that it ends
Though there was a time when he and I were friends

See the brightest ones of all
Early in October fall
That's the way that it goes
That's the way

While the dark ones go to bed
With good whiskey in their head
That's the way that it goes
That's the way

Now Billy Joe's back in the tank
You tell Russo, I'll tell Frank
That's the way that it goes
That's the way

Did he throw her down a well?
Did she leave him for that swell?
That's the way that it goes
That's the way

That's the way that it goes
Everybody's buying little baby clothes
That's the way that it ends
Though there was a time when all of us were friends

When you lay me down to rest
Leave a pistol in my vest
That's the way that it goes
That's the way

Do you miss my gentle touch?
Did I hurt you very much?
That's the way that it goes
That's the way

That's the way that it goes
Everybody's buying little baby clothes
That's the way that it ends
Though there was a time when you and I were friends

The Way It Goes Lyrics as written by Gillian Welch David Rawlings
Lyrics © Wixen Music Publishing
Lyrics powered by LyricFind

  14 comments for “Song Lyric Sunday – I’m a Little Bit Country

  1. January 22, 2023 at 12:51 pm

    Great song and great choice. And you’re right, a good country song tells it’s own story and doesn’t need anyone to explain it. The only answer to someone who might ask what a particular song is about is, “Just take four minutes and listen.” We make all these plans in life, we get together and we have children and then life happens and that’s the way that it goes. I’ve always liked the line about leaving a pistol in her vest. She needed one for security in life and, unfraid of death, she wants to be prepared wherever she might go just in case.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 22, 2023 at 5:59 pm

      Thanks Michael. Yes it is a great song. I like that line about the gun too! ☺️

  2. January 22, 2023 at 9:32 am

    A great singer, writer and musician… No many smiles in this song though 🙂💜

    • Christine Bolton
      January 22, 2023 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks Willow ☺️💕. Yes all country songs seem sad

      • January 22, 2023 at 12:31 pm

        I have listened to a lot of Country this week 😃

      • Christine Bolton
        January 22, 2023 at 1:32 pm

        Lol! You’ll be talking with a twang! 🤣

      • January 22, 2023 at 1:49 pm

        And saying Hey y’all 😬😬

      • Christine Bolton
        January 22, 2023 at 1:59 pm

        Hey I say that. It’s an all encompassing statement. After all these years living here I can’t help it 🤣

      • January 22, 2023 at 2:01 pm

        Well there ya go!? 😂😂🌍

  3. January 22, 2023 at 9:11 am

    I am a huge fan of Gillian Welch. She is an extremely talented musician and her harmonies with other artists are quite amazing.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 22, 2023 at 12:20 pm

      Yes I agree Maggie. I live listening to her 😊

    • Christine Bolton
      January 22, 2023 at 6:00 pm

      Love 🤣

  4. January 21, 2023 at 10:45 pm

    I was not aware of Gillian Welch, but she sings really nice. The story is easy to figure out as it is about the way time makes things change. Becky Johnson dies from shooting up and her brother buried her. The chorus with the buying little baby clothes probably means that somebody is pregnant. Miranda ran away and having to sell that pussy cat could mean that she became a hooker. The next two verses are metaphors about people, those that are bright in the fall and those that are dark when they drink. Billy Joe got arrested and he needs help. There is some speculation about if he got rid of her, or if she dumped him. A guy decides that he wants to be buried with a pistol and he may have treated his woman rough and gentle. It seems like their friendship dissolved over time. Really nice song Christine, thanks for sharing your music.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 21, 2023 at 11:04 pm

      Exactly Jim. No need for a write up on the song, just read the lyrics. LOL! I’m happy you enjoyed Gillian Welch. I’m loving her music ☺️

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