James Leroy Wilson's blog

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The most underrated song?

Growing up, our family had a baby grand piano. And songbooks. Lots of songbooks.

One of them was called, I think, "Great Songs of the 60's." My big sisters would often play from it, and sometimes sing the lyrics. It's not like they were practicing or rehearsing, they were just passing time and entertaining themselves.

(Whereas I, at the time, was running outdoors learning nature, and reading Shakespeare on the side watching Brady Bunch and Happy Days reruns.)

In any case, one of the songs was called "The Last Thing on My Mind" by Tom Paxton. I thought it was probably the best song in the songbook. It's easily Paxton's biggest "hit."

But how big of a hit was it? I heard it on the radio maybe twice, on Chicago's brilliant "Midnight Special" folk music show. Never heard it on an oldies station, and believe me, I've heard LOTS of oldies stations from different parts of the country.

And I find that odd. It seems the most adaptable song ever written. You could do a punk version, or country version, or almost any version of it, and it would turn out right. The theme is that universal, and the tune is that good:

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