Song of the Day, June 24: Weary Life by Linda Thompson
June 24, 2012 Leave a comment
Today’s song is Weary Life by Linda Thompson. After she and husband Richard Thompson divorced, she recorded her first solo album in 1985. Suffering from exhaustion and hysterical dysphonia, it took her 17 years to release her second, the aptly titled Fashionably Late. It’s a delightful album featuring mostly her own compositions and a strong musical sense.
This song is uniquely hers but draws strongly on her musical history with Richard. With cynical lyrics and a jaunty tune, it captures the complexity of romantic relations. Contrasting the blind joys of courtship with the drab realities of marriage, she anchors the song with a dour chorus.
It’s a life, a life, a weary old life.
It’s better to be single
than to be a married wife.
Despite the somewhat lighthearted bitterness, she recognizes the ways that the couple depend on each other and both contribute to their situation. (She also works in a nice lyrical nod to Tracy Chapman…) Co-written with son Teddy, who plays guitar on the track, it also features harmonies from daughter Kami and family friend Eliza Carthy who also fiddles. Enjoy this delightful romp of despair today.