I was raised in what was then a small city in an agricultural area of beautiful British Columbia. Our local radio station, CKOV (Sherry will remember this) played a mixture of country music and popular music in the 50s and 60s.
I first heard this song by the man who originated it, Hank Williams, Senior.
It could not have been an easy song into which to introduce some real musicality, but I'd say BJ Thomas managed to do that, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra9eLLg_6uE
But I'm to write a poem using some of the lyric from it, so, in the wake of Venus crossing the sun, I chose what has always been my favorite line from this song.
The silence of a falling star lights up a purple sky,
and scientists, forever since, have stopped to wonder why.
They’ve studied long, they’ve studied hard,
Does a star, when falling, make no noise?
Or does it sound like thunder?
In the video of the rehearsal for his world-broadcast Hawaii show, Elvis said I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry is the saddest song he ever heard, and I don't doubt he heard a lot of songs in his lifetime.
However, my very favorite sad song is this old Scottish love song recorded by the wonderful Paul Robeson: