Thursday, January 10, 2013

"It's the Tenth of January and I Still Ain't Had No Sleep..."

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 5:04 PM

If today has a song, it's surely Arlo Guthrie's "Darkest Hour," a mysteriously captivating song, filled with fever-dream imagery of love, war, yearning and one night that changes everything. It's long been on my shortest list of all-time favorite songs, built from both understated details that set on the mind like black & white photographs and narrative gaps that set the imagination to discover its own story of what's really taking place.

The song opens with the line "It's the tenth of January and I still ain't had no sleep" and so I always take a bit of time out of my day to listen when Jan. 10 comes around.

Performing live, Arlo leads into the song by saying it came to him in a dream. He woke up, wrote it down and went back to sleep. When morning came, he had the lyrics, but the memory of the dream was fading, so he didn't know whether it was actually his song in the dream. But, since it was his dream...

"Darkest Hour" first came out on Arlo's 1976 Amigo album, a full-band version led by a cascade of piano notes and atmospheric organ fills. But more and more these days, I tend to prefer the song in a more stripped-down version, with Arlo on guitar and just a bit of backing instrumentation.

Here's a live version recorded live in Jacksonville, Fla. in 2009. Enjoy:

Tags: , , , ,


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Eric Swedlund

  • Back to the Well

    XIXA draws on mystic desert energy for “Tombstone Rashomon,” the first of a new batch of tunes
    • Jul 19, 2018
  • A Band Reborn

    Larry and His Flask return from a five-year hiatus refocused on what the band does best
    • Jun 7, 2018
  • A Record of Many Colors

    Carlos Arzate branches out in different sonic directions on the adventurous Camaleón
    • Apr 5, 2018
  • More »

Tucson Weekly Calendar

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation