Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Snowy death

Chris Knight, "North Dakota", off of 2001's A Pretty Good Guy. A song as bleak as the countyside it is set in.

Chris is four years older than me, and worked as a mining engineer before he heard Steve Earle on the radio and decided to write songs. Mostly he's written songs for other folks, because his bleak voice isn't really suited for stardom. Sample comment from YouTube: "Chris Knight is every welder I've ever known wrapped up in a song writer."

-- Badtux the Music Penguin


  1. Most folks in North Dakota are helpful and friendly but it can get gawd awful cold there on a winter night. You have to leave your truck running all night to keep from freezing.

  2. That tune made me think of the "Sweet Allis Chalmers" song by a band named Country Gazette. I think I still have the vinyl LP for that one somewhere. Too bad it was made in 1990, back before there was such a thing as music videos. Not for smalltime bluegrass bands, at least. However, that mournful tune is a happy children's ditty compared to "North Dakota." At least the Allis Chalmers guy has his tractor left!

    But seriously, who goes and builds a fire first when he gets home instead of looking for his missing wife(?) in the blizzard?

  3. I recommend you read the Jack London story "To Build A Fire", Bukko. When the outside temperature is 40 degrees below zero, fire is survival, and survival trumps everything. Take a trip to your east to the paradise that is Alberta in wintertime, instead of sitting there in your tropical paradise (hah!)...

    From the song it's clear that he looked for his wife as much as he could given the blizzard white-out conditions. He checked the barn which was the only place she could be and still be alive, he clearly checked the path to the firewood since that's how he got the wood to build the fire. But that's bleak, forbidding country in the wintertime. As bleak as this song.


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