Sunday, August 16, 2015

Rank Strangers to Me

Man goes home again.
Everyone he knows has gone.
The rest are strangers.

Drawing on the spirit of Thomas Wolfe and his novel "You Can't Go Home Again," consciously or not, Albert Brumley wrote this song about finding out what happens when you return to your home town and discover that you don't know anybody anymore. The song surely carries more weight and dimension than such a diary entry, but that's what the lyrics concern themselves with. I'm assuming that Bob Dylan, who recorded this song for the 1988 album "Down in the Groove" as its closer heard it from Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, though I don't know if that's true. Though Brumley was from Oklahoma, this song about the mountains plays right into the Piedmont and Shenandoah home turf of Stanley and Wolfe.



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