One Heartbreak (away from the grave)

Copyright 2004, Guy Smith, All Rights Reserved

I’m standing in the howlin’ rain
Holdin’ down all of this pain
Don’t know where to go, don’t know what to do
Now that I don’t have you
I just want you to leave darlin’
But I just need you to stay

I’m one heartbreak away from the grave
I’m one heartbreak away from the grave

This old heart of mine
Has been down one too many times
Can’t take the cheatin’ babe
Don’t want your lies
I saw you smilin’ at him
I had to fade away

I’m one heartbreak away from the grave
I’m one heartbreak away from the grave

Ever since I lost you babe
I’ve got nothin’ left to lose
I’m spillin’ whiskey every night
Tryin’ to drink away these blues
So buy me one last bottle darlin’
Then just walk away

I’m one heartbreak away from the grave
I’m one heartbreak away from the grave


The story: There is a young blues guitarist by the name of Josh Smith (no relation). Blues star Jimmy Thackery was plugging him and said “This kid is one heartbreak away from being a legend.”

Well, I thought that was a great turn of a phrase. It rumbled around in my alleged mind for days. I got to wondering “what is the worst place to be when you’re that heartbroken?” Seemed natural that being dead would be a major bummer, so “One Heartbreak Away from the Grave” was the new phrase rumbling around in my alleged mind.

Writing this song did take a few odd twists though. First, while writing the lyrics I decided to think about my assorted heartbreaks (and I’ve had my share . . . and a few extra for texture). Oddly, none of that helped (sorry Bonnie, Dianna, Susan, Elaine, etc.). But thinking about the most desolate places and conditions one could be in while being heartbroken did (in the rain, watching her and her new romantic partner, drinking heavily). So all those lousy places ended up in the song (good place to keep ‘em).

Another oddity was the outright theft of the line “splillin’ whiskey”. Took that from Tom Wait’s “The One that Got Away”, though the feeling is vastly different in each tune.

Finally, the version you hear now is a 2nd birth. Sometimes you write a song that just doesn’t resonate with you . . . or anyone else for that matter. You have to put it up on a shelf and let it get ripe. Well, I think this one might just be startin’ to turn . . . .


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