Glen Campbell – wichita lineman (1968)
‘i need you more than want you
and i want you for all time…’
such a couplet many a songwriter or wordsmith would kill their rich aunts for…although without the late glen campbell’s rich, emotive tones breathing life into Jimmy Webb’s lyrics they would sit there on the page; trapped in a half life and tragically unrealised, the artistic sublime frustratingly out of reach.
as it happens, the song itself was some kind of fortunate accident of genius, craft and interpretation as detailed in a fascinating BBC news article on the songs origins which you can read here.
thus if I am redirecting you to other more professional sites, what is there left for me to add my two cents to the countless tributes and obituaries? not a lot perhaps, only to reflect briefly on a song that had i heard it 20 or even 15 years ago would have left me unmoved and which – hip namechecking my more modern songwriters aside – would have seemed extremely ‘uncool’; easy listening for older people than I.
So i hope that those self protective pretensions have receded somewhat in the intervening years or maybe a simple fact of aging is a creeping sentimentality gets in through the cracks,
I can’t really judge objectively but all I know is when i hear this song now, wherever i may be it feels like a song for…excuse me..all time and all places, a sharp evocation of solitude, reflection that awakens an overwhelming longing within the listener that can maybe never be fulfilled or resolved; the sound of telephone wires fading into the distant horizon haunting our memory.