Just Sing, Little Darlin’

In the car the other day, I caught this song during an interview with the singing Swedish sisters who are First Aid Kit. No, it’s not gospel, but the harmonies are about as close and fine as anything a southern gospel fan could want.

I could honestly do without all the visual palavering of the video’s flimsy eco-pantheism, but who doesn’t like a song about singers and singing (and I had totally forgotten until I heard this song that Emmylou Harris sang with Gram Graham Parsons, so bonus score for sharpening my music trivia knowledge).

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  1. NG wrote:

    It’s Gram not Graham.

  2. NG wrote:

    Love this song. John Sakamoto recently wrote about it in the Toronto Star saying:
    “These two sisters from suburban Stockholm were born decades after the heyday of their main influences, to whom they pay heartfelt homage in the chorus: Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, June Carter and Johnny Cash. First Aid Kit may be Swedish, but this sounds like it was written and recorded in a hotel room in the heartland of America in 1970.”

  3. Wade wrote:

    Ha Ha… I get the GRAM thing… he has done a lot of them…

  4. carl wrote:

    I don’t find much life in their music. Still, the clip illustrates something basic about SG music. It put me in mind of something Emmylou Harris said about singing with Gram Parsons (quoted by David Meyer):

    “By singing with Gram . . . I learned that you plow [the overt emotion of a song] under and let the melody and the words carry you. Rather than this emotion thing, emotion will happen on its own. As you experience life and know more, then [emotion is] gonna come out almost unconsciously as you sing. You have to have restraint in how you approach a song.”

    I figure that’s a fundamental insight. It’s something the best SG artists know–that pretty balance between restraint and the rush of emotion that the restraint can’t contain.

    For my money, these young women have the restraint part down pat but haven’t got the heart part at all. They need to do a few gigs with SG artists, or maybe Ralph Stanley.

    (The quote is from David Meyer, *Twenty thousand roads: the ballad of Gram Parsons and his cosmic American music*, New York, Villard Books, 2008, p. 370.)

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