Like a number of commenters in Betty’s post below, I just learned that Nanci Griffith has died at the way-too-young age of 68.
We’ve lost too many good ones lately–John Prine still stings, and there are so many others. This one hurts. A friend of mine turned me on to Griffiths in the late 80s–about a decade late, given that she released her first album in 1978. She wrote beautiful songs and sang them like angel; she covered great music and made those pieces come to life anew; she did duets and trios and ensembles and every grouping was better for her presence. I listened to her a lot in the months after my friend played her album Lone Star State for Mind for me, and that was part of the soundtrack of my life for a while, up to and including the time I met the woman foolish enough to agree to marry me.
I’m sure many here have favorites; toss the titles (and links if you have them) into the comments. Here are a few to be going on with, not an attempt at a greatest list, just some of the ones that I have loved.
Damn, Nanci. It’s a poorer world without you in it, and one sounding so much less sweet.
Here’s one Raven praised below:
Here’s a cover duet she did with Townes Van Zandt on one of his songs that breaks my heart every time I listen to it:
This one always makes me smile:
Here she is covering a John Prine tune (you knew I was going to post this one):
Finally, I don’t know if you can say Griffith had a single singular tune, the one you think of first when you think of her. But at a minimum, this is a good one with which to sing her out:
“When you get to be four or five years old you wake up one morning and you walk into the living room and look out at the members of your family and you scratch your head and think to yourself ‘why do I always have to hang around with these people. And then you go out and you find yourself a friend…”
Rest in peace, Nanci. You gave the world a gift; we are richer for your presence and saddened by your leaving.