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for those who want longing more than love

August 18, 2009

so, over at the av club, nathan rabin has been taking on the giants of country every two weeks. the write ups are actually quite good, and i enjoy a) seeing much-beloved artists through the eyes of a newcomer, and b) rediscovering those same artists. this week, emmylou harris, which delivered this fabulous commentary:

In a sense, Parsons was reintroducing Harris to her own heritage, since she grew up on country throughout her tragically non-misspent youth. … I’ve written extensively about Harris and Parsons’ collaboration elsewhere, so I will limit my observations here to arguing that there are five steps to becoming a country legend. They are, in order:

  1. Suffer
  2. Suffer some more
  3. Continue suffering
  4. Suffer through a horrible divorce related to your epic substance-abuse problems and preternatural gift for self-destruction
  5. Die an agonizing death, then enjoy posthumous martyrdom

Growing up tragically functional, sane, and well-developed, Harris was at a terrible disadvantage when it came to pursuing country glory. 

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