Two recent blog postings have enriched the discussion about Hank’s works and reputation.
Steve Wilson at a blog called ‘Amusia’ talks about the verse about Hank from ‘Tower of Song’ by Leonard Cohen. I have also discussed this song and the interview Cohen gave later in which he said he was not using “inverse”or false modesty when he said Hank Williams was a ‘thousand floors above me in the ‘Tower of Song.”
Wilson goes off in a new direction and discusses in some detail the Cohen reference to Hank ‘”coughing all night long.” What is the significance of Cohen’s use of gthe word “cough” in relation to Hank? I loved the essay which is here.
Our friend Citizen K who is linked on the blogroll to the right, has a new blog called, ‘Just a Song’. One of the first songs he discusses is Hank Williams’ ‘Ramblin Man’.
K presents a thoughful analysis of the song and Hank’s performance which he calls one of the “eeriest vocals ever recorded.” K also talks about the content of Hank’s lyrics. He calls him a “reluctant rambler”, who wants to “rationalize an inablity to committ.” He describes how fate and divine intervention were important to Hank as seen in the line, “When God made me he made a ramblin man.”
The ‘Just a Song’ post is here.
It is really great to find these thoughtful discussions of Hank’s work. The way to keep Hank Williams’ life and works alive for generations to come is to get people involved in discussing his work in a serious way.
Entertainers come and go. But from time to time one comes along whose memory should be kept alive for generations to come. We can do this by using these new media to discuss Hank in a serious, respectful, but also critical way if necessary. By doing this we are insisting that Hank always be taken seriously as a major musical and poetic artist.
If anyone has examples of writings about Hank people should read, please bring them to my attention in the comments.