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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Punched In The Heart By Tracy Chapman

When a person has a special voice, it's a gift from the gods and something worth celebrating. If that person can also play an instrument or two, I am agog at their talent. And if that person should happen to be gifted enough to write wonderful songs which they then sing and play wonderfully, well, I would just like to touch the hem of their garment.

Tracy Chapman is that kind of person. Some of you are nodding. Some of you await proof.

I'm going to feature three songs as evidence, all written by her. The first is the one that made me a fan, Baby Can I Hold You, a song about vulnerability, hope, delusion and, of course, love. Recorded live at Austin City Limits, it's one of two clips from that concert I'll be showing.

Also from that show, the new-to-me and highly enjoyable Another Sun.

The last tune I'm featuring is one of the most touching love songs ever written. I love the comment by one YouTube poster: "ouch this song seriously punched me in the heart." That's how I felt when I first heard it. And I think it has that effect on many. There's a so-so live version out there but I'm going with one of the very many vids put together by fans based on the recorded version. Here's Tracy Chapman's The Promise.

Thanks to Atanvarde and Azurelce5 for the videos.


  1. Nodding.

    That last one is a favourite. It more than tugs.. it does indeed punch.

  2. Yes'm. It surely does. There's something in the timbre of her voice, combined with the sparse, poetic imagery of her lyrics that really packs an emotional wallop.

  3. If you're in the mood for mellow and depth, you can do a lot worse than Tracy Chapman, that's fer sure. Nice songs, Frank.

  4. I love Baby Can I Hold You
    there's another song on that album about domestic violence that kills me
    I can't remember the name of the song and the CD is down a flight of stairs I don't want to take on right now

    which leads me to - you absolutely can and should chuckle at my driveway fall!! It is required actually. What's the point in these things happening if we can't/don't laugh

    Love the last song, had not heard it before. She is wonderful.

  5. She sure is, Dianne. Glad you agree. :)

  6. Ahh yes, Tracy is a deep soul for sure. Nobody does melancholy more beautifully.

  7. If anyone comes close, MG, it might be Joan Armatrading. Her turn is coming up before too long. :)


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