Lyrical: Lyle Lovett

So like the years and all the seasons pass
And like the sand runs through the hourglass
I just keep on running faster
Chasing the happily
I am ever after

I just keep on running faster
Chasing the happily
I am ever after
— Her First Mistake

Lyle Lovett is awesome. I don’t know anyone outside of my house that listens to him. I don’t think many of my friends or family could name a song of his.

But Lyle Lovett is awesome. He does country and blues and soul and Texas swing and big band and a lot of other stuff. His lyrics are funny at times and poignant at others. He’s a crafty songwriter and, far as I can tell, a gifted musician. He may not have the best voice in the world — I will say, in fact, that Lyle Lovett does not have the best voice in the world — but it’s unique, and he knows how to use it. He’s understandable, in that you can understand what words he’s singing, even if you’re sometimes perplexed why he places them in that particular order.

And he puts on one heck of a show.

I’m not a crazy concert-goer. In fact, I don’t go to many concerts at all. But I’ll bet I’ve seen Lovett three or four times, at least. At an outdoor concert in Cincinnati at the zoo. (Same place I saw this guy.) At Chastain Park in Atlanta. I’m sure I saw him at some arena, probably on some state fairground somewhere.

Every time, he comes through. His shows are fun and upbeat and unique. Lyle Lovett is awesome.

Some of his song titles:

I Married Her Just Because She Looked Like You
Don’t Touch My Hat
She’s Leaving Me Because She Really Wants To
White Boy Lost in the Blues
An Acceptable Level of Ecstasy
Fat Babies
Creeps Like Me
Penguins
That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas)
My Baby Don’t Tolerate

It’s not only his voice that makes him unique. His look is famous, or at least as much as he is. His rapport with audiences — understated, part shy, part sly, as if he’s both laughing with you and at you — is legendary. Or as legendary as he is.

Her First Mistake is a rambling, multi-part story about the lengths a man will go to for a woman. (She made me think so fast/I left my thoughts behind.) It’s clean — no big band on this one, no backup singers, just a strumming guitar and a little percussion that touch on a little bossa nova beat — catchy and, in a word, riveting. It has a wonderful ending and, even if the message might seem a little messed up to some, it resonates.

Hey, we’ve all, at times, tried to do a little too much to impress someone. Told a little lie, maybe. Inflated our resume. Pretended to be someone we’re not.

The great thing about that is, once in a while, it works. And that’s not a bad thing. For anybody.

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