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Home Blogs The Arts All Roads Lead to Townes - KATHLEEN

All Roads Lead to Townes - KATHLEEN

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Townes said he wrote this one the same night he wrote "Our Mother the Mountain" in 1969. He said he was in an Austin hotel room. He must have been wicked lonesome.

I think Townes felt a profound connection to nature. He seems to have been able to communicate with animals (penquins, snakes, birds). He relies on the elements to help him find his way to Kathleen.

I would like to think Townes found peace in nature – because it seems he didn't experience it anywhere else.


It's plain to see, the sun won't shine today
But I ain't in the mood for sunshine anyway
Maybe I'll go insane
I got to stop the pain
Or maybe I'll go down to see Kathleen.

A swallow comes and tells me of her dreams
She says she'd like to know just what they mean
I feel like I could die
As I watch her flying by
Ride the north wind down to see Kathleen.

The moon hangs high above, the oceans roar
The stars have come to lead me to her door
There's crystal across the sand
And the waves, they take my hand.
Soon I'm gonna see my sweet Kathleen.

Soon I'm gonna see my sweet Kathleen.

I thought I'd seen every Townes video, but this one took me by complete surprise. This is Townes at the end. His voice is shot. The brilliant guitar licks are gone. He delivers, however.

Listen, near the end, when he pays homage to Clapton. I've never heard the song done this way.

Listen to the reaction from the guy shooting the video. He's stunned, as a lot of people were when they were in Townes' orbit.

"That's beautiful, man," the guy says. "That's a beautiful song."

"Thanks," Townes replies. "It didn't come from me."


Townes' gifts and genuis were not of this world – and in the end, he could not bear their weight.



This is the fifth in a series of blogs inspired by Darrell Scott, the talented singer/songwriter and Nashville musician who wisely said once during an interview several years ago, "All roads lead to Townes." Thank you, Darrell, for the lovely idea.





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