Recommendation XIII: Lee Ann Womack

Happy 4th of July! I seem to have a tendency to make new blog entries on holidays lol (the last one was on Father’s Day). Today, my Independence Day is not as exciting or action-packed as past years in my life, as I have not done much at all – that’s why I’m making a new entry now and also, I owed it to you all haha. Today’s recommendation is not related to today or have any theme like that: it’s just a song I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time and from an artist who puts out some of the best music out there, so it was tough to choose one song from them to do.

My thirteenth recommendation is: Lee Ann Womack’s “I Know Why the River Runs” from her 2000 I Hope You Dance album. This is the country album that got me back into country music years ago. I’ve really got to thank my sister mostly, because she bought this CD for my mother (my mom loved the title track), and we used to listen to it all the time in our old vehicle. That was like the only CD we really listened to haha…and none of our road trips would be complete without hearing some of the songs from this album and especially “I Know Why the River Runs”. Anyway, people need to realize that this album is much more than the hugely-ginormously popular title track, “I Hope You Dance” (which is my favorite Lee Ann Womack song of all time) and I’d definitely recommend people and fans check out her other music. This album has so many styles of country music on it mixed together: traditional, honky-tonk, bluegrass, contemporary pop-country, and I think the other songs are majorly overlooked by people who love the title song.

“I Know Why the River Runs” falls under the contemporary pop/rock-country category, but don’t let that turn you away. This is a GREAT example of how the new country sound is like when done right and keeps a reasonable, but not far-away distance from its country roots. The production is perfect, in my opinion. Frank Liddell, Lee Ann’s husband, who has co-produced albums for Jack Ingram and Miranda Lambert, actually produced this track for the album. I love the use of steel guitar, fiddle, electric guitar, and drums in this tune…it goes right on with Lee Ann Womack’s sweet and mesmerizing vocals. I’ve always loved her voice and I believe this is one of her best performances to date, especially when she holds the note at the end of: ” but you will never come ” and then her voice overlaps it and goes on with the next set of lyrics- I just love that part! Listen to the entire song and you’ll see what I mean!

I also think it’s even better to know that Julie Miller wrote this song. Lee Ann has collaborated with Julie (and her hubby, Buddy Miller as well) several times in her career and everything they do together is incredible stuff. The song is about a person feeling lonely and hurt about a lover who has left them and they still have hope that the lover will return but it will never happen. Yes, it’s such a clichéd topic used in lots of country songs, but with this song, Lee Ann goes beyond that and portrays the heartache of the story and you actually believe she knows why the river runs and why the sky is crying and all that stuff because her experience with the sorrow has given her some wisdom but she has not totally learned from it – she’s in denial. Womack is for sure one of the best vocalists around who can paint a picture about that kind of stuff with the emotion in her voice. I cannot say enough good things about her! I am sure you will see another recommendation of her music in the future. I originally planned to do something from There’s More Where That Came From, but I knew I had to choose this song because I feel that its so overlooked because of the immense-popularity of “I Hope You Dance”. I would say that anybody who enjoys “…Dance” would enjoy this song too!

Happy 4th of July! **==

Thanks for reading!

Buy the song here on iTunes now!

Here are the full lyrics to “I Know Why the River Runs”, written by Julie Miller:

I reach to hold you, I’ll still be alone
When I hear the ringing of the telephone
I’ll think it is you
It will not be true

I know why the river runs
To a place somewhere far away
I know why the sky is crying
When there aren’t any words to say

I could play the message that you left for me
I can hear your voice and I could still believe
That you will soon be home
But you will never come

I know why the river runs
To a place somewhere far away
I know why the sky is crying
When there aren’t any words to say

There’s a silence that I don’t want to hear
There’s a hole now where my heart used to be
They say that healing comes in time
But I don’t know what that means

I lie here for so long
But you will never come

I know why the river runs
To a place somewhere far away
I know why the sky is crying
When there aren’t any words to say

I know why the river runs
To a place somewhere far away
I know why the sky is crying
When there aren’t any words to say

I know why the river runs…

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1 Comment

  1. This is my favorite track off of “I Hope You Dance”, which is my 2nd favorite album of Womack’s, behind “There’s More Where That Came From.”

    My favorite non-single of hers overall is “Blame It On Me.” She really finds the best bitter/sad songs out there.


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