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SLS — “Goodbye,” by Steve Earle

Jim Adams is the ever-loving prompt-pushing host — with his sidekick, Santana, the Tequila Worm of the banner — of Song Lyric Sunday.  Jim says:
This week we have the Cinco de Mayo related prompt words Burrito/Fajita/Mexican/Tequila.

Here are the “rules”:
• Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
• Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
• Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

Steve Earle, Concert in the Cultural centre in Hamburg, Germany, 2008

Anyone who has read my blog for long knows I have a lot of favorite musical artists and a lot of favorite songs. This song happens to be one of my FAVORITE favorites by one of my FAVORITE favorite songwriter-musicians, Mr. Steve Earle. Every time I listen to it, I cry at its poetic power that goes deep into my soul. If you don’t feel at least a twinge of something listening to it, you’ve never truly regretted losing someone you loved.

Per wikipedia:
Train a Comin’ is the fifth studio album by Steve Earle (his first in five years), released in 1995. It was the first album recorded after Earle overcame his addiction to drugs in the fall of 1994, after being convicted for possession.

Most of the songs on the album are older material written when Earle was in his late teens and twenties, including “Hometown Blues,” “Sometimes She Forgets,” “Mercenary Song,” “Ben McCulloch,” “Nothin’ Without You,” and “Tom Ames’ Prayer.” According to the liner notes of the album, “Angel is the Devil” was one of only four songs written during his hiatus, which he refers to as his “vacation in the ghetto,” and the mandolin line of “Mystery Train part II” was written in the early 1990s with the lyrics finished the day it was recorded. The album also includes an instrumental by Norman Blake and three covers: Townes Van Zandt’s “Tecumseh Valley”, the Beatles’ “I’m Looking Through You” and The Melodians’ reggae standard “Rivers of Babylon.”

Goodbye” was written while Earle was in court-ordered rehab in the fall of 1994. In concerts, Earle introduces the song as the first song he wrote clean, and as a “ninth step in the key of C,” referring to the step in which an addict seeks to make amends.

Earle drew on established bluegrass and acoustic instrumentalists for the album, which was a departure from his earlier work with backing band the Dukes. He said to an interviewer at the time that he was seeking an older sound, and the album was recorded in just five days. “I was goin’ for a sound where it sounded like old Opry stuff, where everybody stepped around the mike, which is real close to what we actually did. It ended up being even more of an organic record than I thought it was gonna be.

Steve Earle – guitar, high string guitar, 12 string guitar, harmonica, mandolin, vocals
Peter Rowan – mandolin, mandola, gut string guitars, vocals
Norman Blake – Hawaiian guitar, dobro, mandolin, fiddle, guitar
Roy Huskey, Jr. – acoustic bass (and inspiration on “I’m Looking Through You”)
Emmylou Harris – vocals on “Nothin’ Without You” and “The Rivers of Babylon”


I remember holdin’ on to you
All them long and lonely nights I put you through
Somewhere in there I’m sure I made you cry
But I can’t remember if we said goodbye

But I recall all of them nights down in Mexico
One place I may never go in my life again
Was I just off somewhere just too high
But I can’t remember if we said goodbye

I only miss you every now and then
Like the soft breeze blowin’ up from the Caribbean
Most Novembers I break down and cry
But I can’t remember if we said goodbye

But I recall all of them nights down in Mexico
One place I may never go in my life again
Was I just off somewhere just too high
But I can’t remember if we said goodbye

Goodbye, goodbye.
Songwriters: Steve Earle

33 thoughts on “SLS — “Goodbye,” by Steve Earle

  1. Great song. Steve’s songs can cover a lot of different emotions. I saw him on that tour- his comeback from drugs and prison. One of the best concerts I’ve been to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a big moment in history for him, and you were there to share it with him, that’s saying something. I’m guessing after a 5-year hiatus, he must have wondered if his audience would be there for him. I have pre-ordered the one coming out later this month after hearing the new song from it. It’s fabulous!


      1. Yes- he has 3 concerts scheduled within an hour and a half of here or closer in June- I don’t know if they will be cancelled or not. Looking forward to the new album. At that time- his way of dealing with things was becoming a work-a-holic.. and 25 years later that must have worked. … they said Theodore Roosevelt had a tendency towards depression- it was a family trait- and his way of dealing with it was to be constantly working/ doing things. Interesting strategy- which seemed to work for both of them.. looking forward to the new album.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I saw him open for Bob…it was great..it was the only night that I’ve seen Bob kinda off…he only played 45 minutes…but Steve was great.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Just like those hologram concerts of Roy Orbison they are doing now, one day they’ll have a Bob one and a Steve one…. Not even close to the same. You’re blessed you got to see both of them in concert.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Is it because of the loss of his son? I adore Steve Earle. I can see why you’d be drawn to think about him. Steve and Townes are birds of a feather although different colored feathers. Do you like that song, Taneytown? One of my favorites by Steve. Favorite album: Train A Comin.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a big Townes guy also. Yes I like ‘Taneytown’ a lot. He doesnt make a bad record. Yeah, Steve is in my regular music loop but the news of his boy hits home. We are all touched by the wonderful world of addiction.
        Here’s a link to a piece a friend of mine asked me to be a part of. Pete’s a great writer and a good guy. He stepped awy from his site but maybe he’ll return one day. You might enjoy his idea. I think I sent it to Max recently.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You sent this to me as well awhile ago. I think I made a comment at your friend’s site as well. Yes, addiction is a tough one. I’m reading Keith Richards’ book right now and omg the level of abuse was off the hook!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Apologize for the double up. My tracking is usually pretty good.
            So many sad stories around that problem. All walks of life. ‘Let’s Get Lost’ is a doc you might dig. It’s about Chet Baker. Not a feel good watch. None of it is glamorous to CB. I try and separate that stuff and just hear the music. The jazz world was decimated by it.
            Off topic. I’m thinking of pulling the trigger on ‘Partisan’ tonight. You have a say in which way I go. What do yu think? Can CB handle it?

            Liked by 1 person

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