Why These Covers of ”Wichita Lineman” Should Make You Cry

My father loved county music, and in particular he adored Glen Campbell, and he especially loved the song Wichita Lineman.

Being a somewhat contrary bugger, I obviously hated it until I heard this version of it by the British Electric Foundation who were a mix of members from Heaven 17 and The Human League. It is one of the few songs that make me tear up almost instantly as the perfect bleakness of it summed up a time of my life when things were bleak, but the pictures being painted in the song were of wide open spaces, and of course being in Glasgow in the 80’s I could only visualise this world it created in black and white.

wichitalineman

 

It’s a great song. It’s a great cover. I can’t get past the line ”and I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time’ lyric without suffering from very damp eyes. Then a few years ago I heard Johnny Cash’s cover. Everyone with an ounce of humanity should hear this version. It’s simply gloriously sad, uplifting and funereal all at the same time.

The lesson is don’t just hate things because your folks like them. Quality resides everywhere if you look for it, but sometimes it’s right in front of your face..

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