So I’ve been sitting on this one-liner for a solid year, just waiting for the perfect occasion to post it to Twitter, but I’m gonna share it with you guys instead. You ready? You suuuuure?!? OK, OK, here’s the joke, set off in its own paragraph so you know when to laugh riotously…
I’m pretty sure Emmylou Harris’ answering machine just says “Yes.”
Get it? Because she collaborates with everyone under the sun? Any ROTFLCOPTERing out there? No? Crickets? OK, so now you know why I’ve been sitting on it. Really though, Harris has performed with a zillion artists (I’d start listing them here, but my last post was more than 1,000 words, and the proprietors of You Hear That don’t pay me enough to keep up that clip), making her one of the most prolific and respected backup/duet singers in the biz. So whats the occasion? What Emmylou event inspired me to unleash this dormant comedic gem? Did she collabo with Kayne? Did she duet with Dokken? Nope — well, not that I’m aware of. In fact, she’s not even directly involved.
Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, who go by the name First Aid Kit, and their song “Emmylou” are to thank/blame for my terrible one-liner’s debut, not to mention a swift and karmic wave of guilt for conceiving of it. The tune paints Harris’ talent for collaboration in such a sweet and positive light that I feel like a dirtbag for making fun. The chorus highlights two truly meaningful pairings (Harris and Gram Parsons and Johnny Cash and June Carter), and the payoff line — “Just sing, little darling, sing with me” — completely melts my heart. The song’s structure, carrying us from verse to chorus so directly that it seems almost innocent, does the same.
Thankfully, this well-deserved guilt couldn’t spoil the rest of their album. Not by a long shot. In fact, The Lion’s Roar inspired one of the rarest and most positive reactions I can have. Once I made it through the first 4 tracks, I stopped it. I was so excited to hear the rest that I wanted to save them, even if it was just for a few minutes. Anyone who ate Lucky Charms as a kid — or as an adult, I won’t judge — and saved the marshmallows for the end knows exactly what I’m talking about. Amirightoramiright? Up top!
Have a listen to “Emmylou” below and click here to snag The Lion’s Roar from iTunes.
First Aid Kit — “Emmylou“