Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"To Live Is To Fly", Townes Van Zandt

Honestly, at first I wasn't quite sure I liked Townes Van Zandt.  To be fair to him, I hadn't heard a ton of songs, and the one that was most famous to me, Pancho and Lefty, I'd heard done by a variety of artists before I ever heard his version - artists, I might add, who, at a sonic glance, would appear to have better voices than TVZ (Emmylou and Delbert McClinton spring to mind).  But then, one day in Tacoma, summer of 2011, I heard To Live Is To Fly for the first time and, when it was over, I backed it up and played it again.  And that was it.  For me, it was the key that unlocked everything else - it occurred to me that here was a song that wasn't so much about the singing per se, but about the way his voice inhabited the song.  Or, to put that another way, for me there is no distinction between the song itself, the actual words and music on paper, and Townes giving voice to those words - they are one and the same, simultaneously beautiful and haunting.  And that allowed me to look at his other work in a new light.  And, so -

To Live Is To Fly by Townes Van Zandt...

Also, in these very pages (8/14/12), you can find a link to Townes performing Pancho and Lefty if you are so inclined...



  1. TVZ will always give it out the way he sees it. It is almost impossible to imagine anyone else writing the song below.


  2. Sorry, one more. Couldn't help it. It would be easy for someone to overlook TVZ, unless that person ever tried to make something that was simple and true at the same time.


  3. Simple and true at the same time - well said, George. Thanks for linking these two up...