My Sunday Song – “Jesus Came to Tennessee” by Will Hoge

For My Sunday Song #262, we are talking about “Jesus Came to Tennessee” by Will Hoge. The song is off one of Will’s protest E.P.s called ‘Modern American Protest Music’ from 2012. The whole album is Will speaking out about what was going on in America at the time and there will be another song we highlight from this E.P. That will be two songs out of ten that will come from an E.P. and not an album and that should tell you what I think about the E.P.

This one is where the lyrics need to be read as it is totally and utterly brilliant. The song is a fictional story about Jesus coming down to Tennessee and visited with Will. It is a conversation he and Jesus had as they drove around Tennessee. It is hilarious at times no doubt with Jesus saying the following…

And I’ll call off this doomsday end of the world and I can go back home
“It gets wild when I leave Daddy and John Lennon up there all alone”

But most of it is commentary to how badly we have screwed up things down here. Will and his wife had a child out of wedlock, but Jesus says thats okay as he was born out of wedlock as well. Jesus sees all the war and poverty and how we treat the gays and He is ready to pull the plug on us. Will asks Jesus if he wants to watch Fox or CNN and Jesus says he just wants to hear the truth. And then Jesus calls off the Doomsday when he sees the little children of all different races and sexes playing together with no cares about race or anything. Jesus then said maybe there is hope. Which reminds us that racism is learned and not natural. There is so much great stuff in this song that you need to listen to it more than once. Here is one more line that I love…

I yelled, “One more thing Jesus, could you help me write some hits?”
And in a big voice he said that “I will, if you quit writin’ songs like this”

I love that line as it shows that Will doesn’t take himself serious and has a great sense of humor. I’m telling you, this guy is pure gold!! I could dissect every line in this song and relate to current events, but I think you will pick up on it easily enough when you hear it. It is a combination of everything that is wrong with our country right now and some hope that we could fix it.

Musically, it is a country style track and Will speaks-sings the lyrics like some old-school outlaw country track. It is a simple beat the whole time and Will goes through the whole conversation with Jesus. There isn’t too much to it as this song is all about the lyrics so listen close and take it all in.

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My Sunday Song – “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman

For My Sunday Song #112, I am going to talk about “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman.  Released on April 6th, 1988, and on her self-titled album, “Fast Car” was a massive hit reaching all the way to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.  I remember seeing the video on MTV and thinking what an amazing and beautiful song.  It was not like anything else on the radio at the time.

The song is an acoustical track with just Tracy, an acoustic guitar and some percussion.  Tracy is a folk pop or folk rock singer and her haunting vocals are so impactful and heartfelt that you believe the hardships this person is facing.  It was her vocals performance that made me fall in love with this song (and this album).  It was the most honest performance from I song I had heard on the radio at that time.  It made me think, if she could write such a powerful song, what else can she write about.  And the album doesn’t disappoint.

The song is about a young woman who has grown up with a very rough life.  Her dad is an alcoholic and her mom left them.  She had to quit school to take care of her dad and they were very poor.  She has a boyfriend and she dreams about taking a fast car and driving to the city and starting over and having a better life in the city.  Sadly, her boyfriend is a drunk just like her dad and she can’t break free from the hold poverty has on her world.  Such a sad song and story, yet it is so beautiful.

tracy_chapman-fast_car_s_1

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