A Hymn for Paris: “J’irai La Voir Un Jour”

Below, Patty Griffin sings the French hymn, “J’irai La Voir Un Jour,” a lullaby her grandmother sang to her when Griffin was a child. In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, a hymn of comfort seems appropriate as we send good wishes and hopes to the people of France.

“J’irai La Voir” was written by Father Pierre Janin, who was born on November 30, 1824 in Montluel, France. The opening line that provides the source of the title, “J’irai la voir un jour” translates into “I’ll see her one day.” It is a song about Mary and of going “away from earth/ To the heart of my mother / To rest with no return.”

“J’irai La Voir Un Jour” is a sad song but a song of hope, about joy and love. Regardless of one’s beliefs, in trying to process the inexplainable horrors of life, one could do worse than seeking a few moments of comfort in a hymn that also works as a children’s lullaby.

Patty Griffin’s version of “J’irai la voir” appears in a live version on the album Live from the Artists Den (2008). Also, a snippet of the song appears in her version of “Top of the World” that appears on the album Silver Bell (2013).

Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Patty Griffin Releasing “Servant of Love”

    In September, Patty Griffin will release her ninth studio album, Servant of Love. Chimesfreedom is a big fan of all of Griffin’s albums, so we are excited to be getting another CD from Griffin.

    Not surprisingly, with an album title about “love,” some are reporting that the album is an accounting of Griffin reflecting on her break-up with Led Zepplin singer Robert Plant, who had worked with her on her 2013 album American Kid. The press release for the album, however, explains that on the album Griffin follows “the transcendentalism of writers like Emerson and Whitman.” Thus, the album is grounded “in the natural world” and finds “patterns there which speak both to human experience and to the call of the spirit.” Hmmm… sounds deeper than “screw-you-Robert-Plant.”

    Two of the tracks from the album have hit the Internet, so you can get a sense of the album yourself. Below is “Rider of Days.” Consistent with the talk of transcendentalism in the press release, NPR noted that the song is “more impressionistic than literal, but Griffin’s deceptively simple lyrics locate the emotional core of her bicycle-riding narrator.”

    Another song from Servant of Love is “There Isn’t One Way.” Like NPR’s statement about “Rider of Days,” the Wall Street Journal noticed some vagueness in the song even though Griffin has revealed that she wrote the song after a seven-hour conversation with a friend. In the song, she explains, “There isn’t one way, isn’t one way/ There’s just you and your heart and a part you’ve got to play.”

    Servant of Love will be released in Europe on September 11 and in the U.S. and elsewhere on September 25, 2015. The album, produced by Craig Ross, is Griffin’s first to be released on her new self-owned imprint in conjunction with Thirty Tigers.

    What do you think of the new Patty Griffin songs? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Patty Griffin Sings “Don’t Let Me Die In Florida” Live

    Patty Griffin recently stopped by WFUV in New York City and performed “Don’t Let Me Die in Florida.” The song about her father is off her new album American Kid (2013).

    We previously discussed another track off of Griffin’s new album called “Ohio.” The CD, which Rolling Stone gave 3 1/2 stars, features songs inspired by her father, a World War II veteran and high school science teacher who passed away in 2011.

    What do you think of “Don’t Let Me Die in Florida”? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Patty Griffin Sings About the Underground Railroad on “Ohio”

    Patty Griffin will release her seventh album American Kid (2013), her first with record company New West, on May 7. Below is “Ohio,” the first single from the upcoming album. The song, like the folk song “Banks of the Ohio,” is about the river more than the state. But unlike the old murder ballad, Griffin’s dreamlike song is about the Underground Railroad and people escaping slavery to go north.

    The Ohio River borders the southern border of what was then the free state of Ohio, and it is estimated that 40,000 escaped slaves went through the Underground Railroad in Ohio to escape to freedom in Canada. Griffin has explained that her song “Ohio” was inspired by something she read “in a Toni Morrison novel” a few years ago. Based on the lyrics, my guess is that she is referring to Morrison’s Beloved. Check it out.

    That voice you hear accompanying Griffin (and the man you see in the video) is legendary Led Zeppelin front-man Robert Plant. Griffin helped on Plant’s Band of Joy album, and Plant here also helped arrange “Ohio.” Luther Dickinson (guitar) and Cody Dickinson (drums) from North Mississippi Allstars also perform on the album.

    American Kid features songs inspired by Griffin’s father, who passed away in 2011. As someone who has every one of Griffin’s CD’s, I look forward to this new one.

    What do you think of “Ohio”? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Song of the Day: Shooter Jennings and Patty Griffin “Wild and Lonesome”

    When I heard that Patty Griffin appears on a song on the new album from Shooter Jennings, I had to track it down. The new song, “Wild and Lonesome” is from Jennings’s album The Other Life, coming out March 12. Jennings brings a traditional country sound to the song, and Griffin, who takes a break from her work with Robert Plant here, provides outstanding harmonies. The song is already earning great reviews and creating anticipation for the album. Check it out.

    The album The Other Life will accompany a film by the same name, with the film also featuring Jennings on a supernatural trip of self discovery. Jennings is also working on a film about his late father, Waylon Jennings. Meanwhile Patty Griffin will have her own new album, American Kid, out on May 7.

    What do you think of “Wild and Lonesome”? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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