Unwed Fathers

November 29, 2009 4:21 PM

This is a cover of John Prine's sad little song about a girl, a bus, and a man who done her wrong. Also babies.

The first time I heard this song was on a BBC documentary about the rise of country music. At the end of the programme, they played Tammy Wynette's performance of John Prine's "Unwed Fathers", and I thought it was just beautiful. Within about an hour, I had located the chords online and learnt to play it on the bass.

Unfortunately, this being the pre-Youtube days, I didn't have an easy way of listening to the song again, with the result that the tune I remembered bore only a passing resemblance to the tune that Wynette had sung. And that's the tune that I learnt, and that got hammered into my brain as I played the song over the next few years. Once I took up the uke, it was only a matter of time before this abomination made it onto the internet. And here it is, in a very simple, uke-and-voice arrangement.

My recording equipment isn't what you'd call professional, so the quality has suffered a bit, and I'm not that great on the uke either. (Also, try to spot the high note that I can't always reach.) So constructive criticism is very welcome!

posted by ZsigE (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Awesome simplicity. You have a great voice. "Your daddy never meant to hurt you ever, he just don't live here, but you've got his eyes." Touching stuff, I hadn't heard this song before.
posted by Corduroy at 8:40 PM on December 8, 2009

I only know this song from The Mammals version of it and was suprised to hear it in my MeFi Music queue. It's one of my favorites and somehow didn't know it was a John Prince song. This is very lovely. You did a great version of it.
posted by jessamyn at 9:46 AM on January 12, 2010

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