How man Clark’s Flu and solid Cough Syrup brought about a standard Song

Born in 1944, that was already gone by new Years work of 1997 after making his darkly-prophetic title album The Late good Townes valve Zandt. People space still recording up to the reality that the was among the best ever. Together Steve Earle said, “He’s the best songwriter in the world, and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in mine cowboy boots and also say that!”

Days, up and down lock comeLike rain top top a conga drumForget most, psychic someBut don’t turn none far

From “To Live Is to Fly”By Townes van Zandt

His songs, choose those of john Prine and few others, are always heavy and also light in ~ the same time, beautiful poetic and conversational, playing the huge picture – the human secret -against the perpetual small picture of day-to-day existence. “To Live Is come Fly,” i beg your pardon he claims in the following concerned him like a gift, is pure Townes. Come a sweet track of the ages, that brings united state this essential, loving message: Life is a journey, a flight, and it’s not over till it’s over. just two years before he began his new an excellent expedition, Townes speak to us about the funny, spiritual, mysterious and also exultant adventure of gift a songwriter in these modern-day times. Below now, in his very own words, is the dreamland story behind his song, “To Live Is come Fly.” Townes van Zandt: I remained in Nashville cutting The Late an excellent Townes valve Zandt album, and I was staying with man Clark and also Susanna Clark, old friends. They had actually this little bitty residence in east Nashville and also we all gained the flu. It was such a tiny place that if one person gained it, we all acquired it. Serious flu. We were all taking antibiotics and also cough syrup.

And since of the cough syrup, and also the fever and also everything, ns sure, my dreams that week were blazing, technicolor vivid dreams. And also one night I visited bed and also had a dream about being a folksinger. And also I to be onstage somewhere and also I played this song. It to be so lively that ns remembered it, wake up up exactly after it was finished, turned on the light, and also reached because that this small pad and also pencil, and also wrote down the verses in the middle of the night, and remembered the guitar component exactly, and rolled over and went back to sleep.

In the morning i woke up, got some coffee, checked out Guy and also Susanna and also said, “Hey, friend all, listen to this.” ns played it and also it seemed as if my fingers knew the guitar part. It take it one second to figure it out. i played the entirety song through, and also they went, “Hey Townes, it is a an excellent song! When go you create that?” ns said, “Last night.” castle said, “No, you couldn’t. You checked out bed prior to we did. Go you wake up or what?” ns said, “No, I created it in a dream and also I just had time to create it down before I visited sleep.” it is the only time that ever before happened the I deserve to remember. Ns remember play songs prior to in desires I didn’t know, but it was never clear sufficient to compose them down. The subconscious should be composing songs every the time. I’ve heard a most songwriters express the same feeling, that the song came native elsewhere. It come through me.

The track was there. I’ve had that emotion with specific other songs, guy Clark song or Bob Dylan songs.


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John Prine songs. I feel, “Man, why no I compose that? That track was out over there and i didn’t get it.” You obtain that emotion the an initial time friend hear it: “Man, that track was in me, too!”“To Live Is to Fly”By Townes van ZandtWon’t say ns love you, babeWon’t to speak I need you, babeBut I’m gonna acquire you babeAnd I will not do you wrong

Living’s mostly wasting timeAnd I’ll waste my share of mineBut it never ever feels also goodSo let’s don’t take too long