July 29, 2022
HS14: 7M3 - Dead Flowers
First lines are the greatest. If you get that one right, you’ve got me forever. Control + S, in my brain, heart, blood, bones, for all time.
When I think of the songs I love the most, it’s usually the first line that haunts me and flits through my head, whether I’m daydreaming, scrubbing dishes, walking in the woods, or taking a second to catch my breath. What a feeling to turn on the car and have the first thing you hear be the first line from a song you adore.
Done right, the first line is the whole shebang—it sets the scene, draws the line in the sand, opens the door, invites you in, asks you to stay for a while.
“Let me run with you tonight, I’ll take you on a moonlight ride.” Ok, Tom, let’s go.
“I wanna want you, I wanna stay here like this, I want to feel it all every time that we kiss.” Julia crushes.
“Jesus, don’t cry. You can rely on me, honey. You can come by anytime you want.” Yes, Tweedy, you’re a first-line master.
“The whole place is dark, every light on this side of the town.” Anything you say, Mr. Molina. I’m in.
“I got brass in pocket, I got bottle, I’m gonna use it. “ Chrissie makes me notice again and again.
Another great one, from today’s offering:
“Well, when you’re sitting there in your silk upholstered chair, talkin’ to some rich folk that you know.”
Damn, Mick, you got me. Now I’m in the basement room.
I love the Stones (I’m trying to find a version of “Heartbreaker” in the archive), but it’s always been the Townes Van Zandt version of “Dead Flowers” that slays me.
Absolutely one of my favorite covers to play live with Tommy J—here’s a version from a Myrtle Beach show in the 2000s.
What are your favorite first lines?