“”I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” is a song written and recorded by American country music singer-songwriter Hank Williams in 1949. Williams wrote the song originally intending that the words be spoken, rather than sung, as he had done on several of his Luke the Drifter recordings. The song about loneliness was largely inspired by his troubled relationship with wife Audrey Sheppard. With evocative lyrics, such as the opening lines “Hear that lonesome whip-poor-will/He sounds too blue to fly,” the song has been covered by a wide range of musicians.
- Rolling Stone ranked it #111 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, the oldest song on the list.
- It was released as the b-side to the #2 Billboard Country single “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It”.
- Regarded as one of the most significant country music artists, Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.
- Williams died in the early morning hours of New Years Day in 1953 at the age of 29 from heart failure exacerbated by pills and alcohol. Despite his short life, Williams has had a major influence on twentieth century popular music.
Carter Family version
Wonder Stuff and Spirit of the West version
“Can the Circle Be Unbroken (By and By)” is the title of a country/folk song reworked by A. P. Carter from the hymn “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” by Ada R. Habershon and Charles H. Gabriel. The song’s lyrics concern the death, funeral, and mourning of the narrator’s mother.
- Most cover versions of the song use the alternate title Will the Circle be Unbroken.
- “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” is a popular Christian hymn written by Ada R. Habershon with music by Charles H. Gabriel. The song is often recorded unattributed. Most of the chorus appears in “Daddy Sang Bass“.
- In 1998 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
- Almost all cover versions of the song use a straight 4/4 meter throughout, while the Carter Family recording from 1927 uses bars of 3/4 near the end of each verse and twice in the chorus.
- Two versions of the hymn are featured in the soundtrack for the 2013 video game BioShock Infinite: a traditional choir version, performed by Maureen Murphy, and an acoustic version performed by Troy Baker (guitar) and Courtnee Draper, the voice actors of main characters Booker and Elizabeth, respectively. The lyrics – particularly the chorus – have particular poignancy in the context of the game, which not only has a literal “better home awaiting in the sky” as its setting, but the plot is ultimately centered around quantum mechanics and multiple worlds, and the notion that an awful process keeps repeating which the player character must stop.
- The Carter Family were the first vocal group to become country music stars.