You Can’t Make It Here

In an attempt to lighten things up, again, I present a despondent, but emotionally acute song by James McMurtry. Many of you may be familiar with his father, Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show, and numerous other works of fiction, screen credits and essays,  as well as a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize (for Lonesome Dove).

I always hate it when someone is introduced as the son of someone famous, based on accolades received by that parent, because in the process, it gives the false impression that the person you are introducing hasn’t done anything of their own, as if the only reference you can make is to his parent’s accomplishments.

So, I heard this song on a disc, looked it up on YouTube (which turned out to be the exact same performance I have on disc) and will note that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, if you get my drift. I’m sure his father is proud.

If you like that, you might enjoy Cheney’s Toy.

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4 thoughts on “You Can’t Make It Here

  1. Though I wouldn’t say it constitutes “lightening things up” unless you take social decay lightly, I just listened to the song and I enjoyed it. He’s a good musician and songwriter, who brought to mind many visuals, like a good songwriter should. My favorite line in the song came about 3:05 –

    Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin, or the shape of their eyes… yeah right.

    Quite pertinent. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I would drink a beer and raise a toast to any of you, because disagreement is no reason for division – that’s the old world mentality, and it’s discouraging to see ostensibly reasoned people so willingly embrace it. People like that can’t make it here anymore.

  2. That “yeah right” is actually a mistake. He started that verse at the wrong place, and then stopped short and said “yeah right”, as if to himself he was saying “yeah, right, wrong line”, then strummed a little and started the right line. That line was then sung a little farther in with the full, proper verse.

  3. When my brother gave me McMurtry’s first album he didn’t say anything about the father-son relationship to me. It was just coincidence at the time that I was reading All of My Friends Will Be Strangers. I only found out a little later, curious by the last name that James was Larry’s son.

    The song I especially like of his is ode to a mobile society “I’m Not From Here.”

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