This week’s Classic Songs Sunday is for everyone sheltering-in-place or quarantined. I’ve chosen three classic country songs that are applicable to anyone feeling as if they’re developing an unnatural relationship with their walls from all the ‘quality’ time they’ve been spending inside.
The lyrics in all three songs can be taken as a metaphor for the difficult times we’re living in.
- Four Walls by Jim Reeves
- Hello Walls by Faron Young
- Flowers on the Wall by The Statler Brothers
These songs tell the story of a person who is at home with nothing for company but wishes and regrets for companionship, while the partner is either out on the town having a good time, has left for someone else, or is possibly quarantined | sheltering somewhere else.
There is hopeless longing for what can never be gotten back and a heartbreaking wish that things had been different. There is a depressive, claustrophobic feel in these songs. The walls take on anthropomorphic qualities and serve as the singer’s only friends and source of solace. The walls provide comfort to keep going crazy with sadness, despair, and loneliness.
Jim Reeves discovered the song Four Walls, while in the office of record producer Chet Atkins. Jim recorded the song in his soft, intimate voice, which was completely different from previous, and less successful, recordings. His version reached Number 1 on the country music charts in 1957 and Number 12 on pop charts.
Hello Walls was written by Willie Nelson. Faron Young was the first to record it. The song was a huge 1961 hit as it reached Number 1 on country music charts, peaked at Number 12 on pop charts. This song also has the distinction of introducing Willie Nelson to a national audience.
Flowers on the Wall
This song was written and composed by Statler Brothers singer Lew DeWitt. The song peaked on the Hot Country Singles Billboard Chart in January 1966 at Number 2 for four weeks and Number 4 on Billboard Hot 100. This song also won the 1966 Grammy for Best Contemporary (R&R) Performance, Group.
The lyrics are a tongue-in-cheek denial that the singer is lonely, feeling isolated, or bored—
Feelings we can all relate to right now.
Hang in there, World— We’ll get through this.
Until next time,
Writing through history one romance upon a time
Stay in contact with Kaye—