30 Sad Songs no 30: Too Far Gone – Emmylou Harris

51nNE7a7x7LThere are two tracks on the Pieces of the Sky album that I really love – this, and Boulder to Birmingham. Too Far Gone is a perfect example of the kind of sad song that works for me: lyrics that delve into human misery, a beautiful melody and a convincing delivery. It’s about letting go of someone when you know the relationship is over, but you’re still desperately in love with them. At the time you think that feeling’s going to last for ever, and there’s something rather noble about it (fortunately, in my experience, it wears off, which is a relief, if rather mundane). I was never much of a country music fan in my youth: Emmylou and her ilk were a far remove from the glam, disco and punk I grew up on. So I didn’t hear this until the early 90s, when it popped up on a compilation tape that a young man gave me during a short-lived affair. He was keener than I was, I was in love with another, all in all it was a very country-and-western situation played out in a flatshare in Islington, if memory serves.

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