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The raving thoughts of a misanthropic academic

May 15, 2007

Song of the Week: Guitars, Cadillacs

The Pax Plena song of the week comes to you from country music legend Dwight Yoakam and is titled Guitars, Cadillacs.

As some fans may recall, way back in 1986 Dwight Yoakam took the country music world by storm introducing an unexpected resurgence of Buck Owens' "Bakersfield sound" to an ailing industry which had begun to sound more like rock than country. One of the first songs which would catapult the movement still sustained today was Guitars, Cadillacs.

Yoakam's sound is unique because it deploys traditional country instruments to create a melody reminiscent of country music's roots in the bars and dance halls of West Texas- long before it became a multimillion-dollar industry wrought by the kitsch of Nashville.

Yoakam's voice in the song, specifically, takes listeners back to the dusty days of a burgeoning California and the trials of those who seek western opportunity and fail. Like most of his songs, Guitars, Cadillacs is a love story, but one written for the blue-collar man. Rather than embracing defeat, the singer ruminates with amusement on his situation finding comfort in, you guessed it, guitars, Cadillacs and hillbilly music.

In all, it's a fun song and a great trip down memory lane. The musicianship is spot on and Yoakam's voice never sounded better. Lyrics follow after the jump. The music video is posted below. Enjoy!



Guitars, Cadillacs

Girl, you taught me how to hurt real bad
And cry myself to sleep
And showed me how this town can shatter dreams
Another lesson 'bout a naive fool
Who came to Babylon
And found out that the pie
Don't taste so sweet

Now it's guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music
Lonely, lonely streets that I call home
Yea, my guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music
It's the only thing that keep me hangin' on

Ain't no glamour in this tinsle land
Of lost and wasted lives
Painful scars are all that's left of me
I wanna thank-you girl for teachin' me
Brand new ways to be cruel
Like findin' mine now I guess I'll just leave

And it's guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music
Lonely, lonely streets that I call home
Yea, my guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music
It's the only thing that keep me hangin' on

Oh it's guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music
Lonely, lonely streets that I call home
Yea, my guitars, cadillacs, hillbilly music
It's The only thing that keep me hangin' on

It's the only thing that keep me hangin' on

It's the only thing that keep me hangin' on
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