1001 Songs Challenge #890: Oh My Sweet Carolina (2000)
On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Ryan Adams feat. Emmylou Harris – Oh My Sweet Carolina (2000)
Heartbreaker (Ryan Adams album) – Wikipedia
Heartbreaker is the debut solo studio album by American singer/songwriter Ryan Adams, released September 5, 2000 on Bloodshot Records. The album was recorded over fourteen days at Woodland Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. It was nominated for the 2001 Shortlist Music Prize. The album is said to be inspired by Adams’ break-up with music industry publicist Amy Lombardi.
We’re staying in the US today, dear reader, and making our way to North Carolina. Ryan Adams began in the band Whiskeytown which formed in 1994 but had disbanded by 2000. We join Adams at that point as he is working on his debut solo album, Heartbreaker, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Oh My Sweet Carolina.
Oh My Sweet Carolina was written in New York when Ryan Adams was down on his luck. His band was gone, he had seen a relationship end and he was struggling financially as well. In the song, Adams’ narrator is an individual who is travelling around the US and seems to be aimless in their endeavour. Each new place brings a different experience but does nothing to help them in their search for a new path. Ultimately, the narrator longs for home back in Carolina but it sounds like he is a long way away.
Oh My Sweet Carolina is driven by an acoustic guitar with Ryan Adams offering a heartfelt vocal. He is joined by Emmylou Harris whose gorgeous voice complements the track very well. Heartbreaker would be critically acclaimed upon release and turn around Adams’ fortunes. He has since recorded more than a dozen albums and been in another band The Cardinals (2004 – 2009). However, recent years have seen controversy with Adams having been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)
Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)
Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)
Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (1994)