Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gillian Welch: Orphan Girl

There are some songs that sound like they've been around forever. The melody and lyrics are so simple and pure, they could have been written 200 years ago. They're perfectly crafted, indestructible, timeless. Orphan Girl from Gillian Welch's 1996 album Revival is one of those songs.

I am an orphan
On God's highway
And I'll share my troubles
If you'll go my way
I have no mother
No father
No sister
No brother
I am an orphan girl
This song could easily have been written alongside Red River Valley (circa 1896) or the traditional American spiritual Wayfaring Stranger. Add Gillian Welch's clear, riveting vocals, and David Rawlings no-frills guitar, and you have a classic that I, for one, will listen to for decades to come.

Download Gillian Welch's "Orphan Girl" on iTunes
Download the Emmylou Harris version

Gillian Welch Official Website
Gillian Welch on Wikipedia

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