Songs for Singers
Sometimes, while driving around, I’ll hear a song that is very good — striking in some way. But then I think to myself… y’know, if X singer were to sing this song, it would be sublime. Periodically, I’ll pick a song and a singer and pair them up.
Song: Wish I Didn’t Know Now by Toby Keith
Singer: Alison Krauss
Alison Krauss is one of the best voices working in popular music today. With 20 (!) Grammy awards to her name, her talent is widely recognized.
Thing about A.K. is that she makes everything take on a wistful sad quality. I honestly think she could sing Happy Birthday and make someone cry. In contrast, Toby Keith gives everything a bit of a happy quality, softening the blow of the crushing lyrics to Wish I Didn’t Know Now:
I’ve always said what I don’t know
Couldn’t hurt as bad as leavin’ you
Turns out I knew what I was thinkin’
It ain’t an easy thing to do
Well I guess I should be goin’
I sure found out too much to stay
Please don’t say your sorry
I might wait another day
I think under Alison Krauss’s masterful hands, that song would slow down some, take on the haunting qualities of AK’s voice, and become an absolutely sublime hymn to heartbreak. Try hard — can you hear it? The little pauses, the breathy soprano of AK’s ethereal voice….
I get shivers just thinking about it.