Hickory Wind

Gram Parsons

About Hickory Wind

"Hickory Wind" is a song written by country rock artist Gram Parsons and former International Submarine Band member Bob Buchanan. The song was written on a train ride the pair took from Florida to Los Angeles in early 1968, and first appeared on The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo album. Despite Buchanan's input, "Hickory Wind" is generally considered to be Parsons' signature song. Parsons' decision to play "Hickory Wind" instead of the planned Merle Haggard cover "Life in Prison" during The Byrds' performance at the Grand Ole Opry on March 15, 1968 "pissed off the country music establishment" and stunned Opry regulars to such an extent that the song is now considered essential to Parsons' legend. Johnny Rogan, in his book The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited, offers the following interpretation for the song: "The alluring 'Hickory Wind' serves as a powerful image for Parsons' bittersweet nostalgia, as he imagines an Edenic childhood of simple pleasures like climbing trees. During successive verses, he reflects on the pursuit of fame, the curse of wealth without spiritual satisfaction, and the perils of city life. What really makes the song, however, is Parsons' aching vocal performance, set against a superb steel guitar backing, whose whining combines with his yearning voice to create a mood of unbearable poignancy." Chris Hillman, Parsons' partner in The Byrds and later The Flying Burrito Brothers, offers the following interpretation of the song:  


Year:
1974
109 Views
Playlists:
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In South Carolina there are many tall pines
I remember the oak tree that we used to climb
But now when I'm lonesome, I always pretend
That I'm getting the feel of hickory wind

I started out younger at most everything
All the riches and pleasures, what else could life bring?
But it makes me feel better each time it begins
Callin' me home, hickory wind

It's hard way to find out that trouble is real
In a far away city, with a far away feel
But it makes me feel better each time it begins
Callin' me home, hickory wind

Keeps callin' me home, hickory wind

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Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons (November 5, 1946 – September 19, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist. Parsons is best known for his work within the country genre; he also mixed blues, folk, and rock to create what he called "Cosmic American Music". Besides recording as a solo artist, he also worked in several notable bands, including the International Submarine Band, The Byrds, and The Flying Burrito Brothers. His career, though short, is described by Allmusic as "enormously influential" for both country and rock, "blending the two genres to the point that they became indistinguishable from each other." more »

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Written by: BOB BUCHANAN, GRAM PARSONS

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