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At number 13 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters is American songwriter Hank Williams. Williams is probably better known and more revered in the USA than in the Disunited Kingdom, but no less than Bob Dylan referred to him in a 1991 interview as “the best songwriter”.

Williams was born in Alabama in 1923, and died in 1953 in a car accident at the tragically young age of 29 (***correction – he died whilst travelling in a car, not from a car accident***). But, during a brief recording history he had 31 songs in the US Country charts top 10 between 1947 and 1953, and is considered to be one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th century. Some of his better known songs are “Hey Good Lookin'”, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, “I Saw the Light” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart”.

At number 13 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Hank Williams.

At number 13 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Hank Williams.

The song I have decided to share in this blogpost is his 1951 song “Cold Cold Heart”. This was released as the B-side to the single “Dear John”.

I tried so hard,my dear,to show that you’re my every dream
Yet you’re afraid each thing I do is just some evil scheme
A memory from your lonesome past keeps us so far apart
Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart?

Another love before my time made your heart sad and blue
And so my heart is paying now for things I didn’t do
In anger, unkind words are said that make the teardrops start
Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart?

You’ll never know how much it hurts to see you sit and cry
You know you need and want my love, yet you’re afraid to try
Why do you run and hide from life, to try it just ain’t smart
Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart?

There was a time when I believed that you belonged to me
But now I know your heart is shackled to a memory
The more I learn to care for you, the more we drift apart
Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart?

Here is a video of Williams performing “Cold Cold Heart” live on TV. Enjoy!

Which is your favourite Hank Williams song?

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