Before I started listening to country music I fell in love with the blues. I´ve always liked the sad songs and that´s what the blues is mostly about. The great Robert Johnson needed only two lines to summarize what most of all the great sad songs are about when he sang “I love my baby, my baby don´t love me” in Kind Hearted Woman Blues, his first recording.
When I started listening to country I realized that it had more of what I was looking for in the blues than the blues had. Country lyrics are often more direct and to the point than blues lyrics and they are very simple which gives the music a lot of honesty when it´s done right. In country I found what I was looking for and I keep finding great sad songs all the time.
It´s not easy to point out your favourite songs, there never seems to be just one. I don´t know how many “best song ever” I have, but there´s a lot of them. However there are songs that stand out from others in some categories. When it comes to sad songs I have a personal favourite. The reason that I can name one specific song is because it´s subject is different from the usual love story. It´s not the only song that has a different theme but this one happens to be on the top of my list. It´s a song by Hank Williams, not too surprising I guess. The song is My Son Calls Another Man Daddy, and it´s as chilling every time you hear it as it was the first time. Hanks sad voice telling the story of a crying man whose woman couldn´t stand him, and has left him for another is heartbreaking and enough to make it a good song. What makes this one different is the perspective, that he´s hurting not primarily for the loss of his girl, but his child. He describes a loss that is not as familiar to the average listener and that makes it interesting, sad and scary at the same time. The impact the song has on you tells quite a lot about Hanks ability to deliver a story. This one is not autobiographic yet you believe every word he sings and they shake you up.
So, that´s one of all those songs that for some reason you want to find and listen to over and over again, because it´s such a good sad song. If you´re already familiar with it, I hope you know what I´m talking about. If you don´t, you have some listening to do.