Monday, October 29, 2007

He's traded rhinestones for the real thing

Country music legend and Opry regular Porter Wagoner passed away yesterday. He was 80 years old, had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, and had fought various other health challenges that come with the territory. Can't say it was a surprise, but definitely reason to pause out of respect.

Country Hall of Famer dies at 80

I realized one night while ushering at the Opry that a line from my song "God Never Says Oops" might have originated with Porter's song “I’ve Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand.” My dad, when tired of watching whatever TV program the family had outvoted him to watch, would say that as a joke as he got up to do something else. That's what I was thinking of when I wrote "Larry is lonely/He's been single all his blessed life/He's enjoyed all the freedom he can stand/And now he wants a wife." Then when I heard Porter sing his song, I figured either that's where my dad got the line, or possibly they both got it from other people. Either way, it's a good one.

One of Porter's hits was "A Satisfied Mind" (he didn't write it but he made it his own). It was also recorded by Bob Dylan, the Byrds, and others, but it seems especially applicable for Porter:

"A Satisfied Mind"
by Jack Rhodes & Joe Hayes

How many times have you heard someone say
"If I had his money I could do things my way"?
But little do they know that it's so hard to find
One rich man in ten with a satisfied mind

Once, I was wading in fortune and fame
Everything I'd dreamed for to get a start in life's game
Then suddenly it happened, I lost every dime
But I'm richer by far with a satisfied mind

Money won't buy back your youth when you are old
Or a friend when you are lonely or a love that's grown cold
The wealthiest person is a pauper at times
Compared to the man with a satisfied mind

When life has ended, my time has run out
My friends and my loved ones, I'll leave there's no doubt
But there's one thing for certain, when it comes my time
I'll leave this old world with a satisfied mind

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