CHARLIE PARR

 

1922 Lyrics

1922 original cover

1922 original album cover

1922 was recorded at Dakota Dave Hull's studio in Minneapolis and at Sacred Heart in Duluth. The record was not done the way it should have been. Recording it in two places was a bad idea. Dave was great and his studio was great but it didn't feel finished for some reason. So we did some other stuff at Sacred Heart, all the songs without Mikkel were recorded there, and those recordings ended up being part of an album for friends and family called Sanctified. There were about 3 different things going on at the same time and 1922 should have been done all in one blast like I do everything else. I was still learning. And I think I was getting too big for my britches or something. It's a shame because it's a record that a lot of people listen to and it should have been much better.

Westbound Rattler lyrics

Migrant Boxcar Train lyrics

1922 Blues lyrics

Mahtowa Stomp lyrics

To a Scrapyard Bus Stop lyrics

Wreck of the Bernard K lyrics

Funeral Road Blues lyrics

Hogkill Blues lyrics

Jesus at the Kenmore lyrics

Song notes

1922 Blues - One of the first songs I wrote. My dad used to tell me all these stories about growing up during the Depression, riding trains, seeing the country. He had a great appreciation for life. He instilled in me the idea that the little things in life are actually the biggest things in life. He never would have said that but I learned that from watching him. When he told stories you got that picture from him, these little things are the things that make up a life. Every day is an important day, every day is the best day, and every minute is where you're living right now. He lived his life that way.

Mahtowa Stomp - Rob's Mahtowa Tavern was one of the first places where I really felt welcome playing at and sustained as a musician. Rob is about the kindest, most big hearted man you'll ever meet. He used to pay me with a 12-pack of Hamm's and after one of those early shows I went home, drank a few, and wrote this song thinking about him and how much I like playing there.

Wreck of the Bernard K - I forgot the name of the actual ship but the song is based on a TV documentary I once saw. It was a great story about a ship that foundered right on the shore, people were watching, it was happening right in front of their eyes which had to be horrifying. I was imagining what it would be like to be on the deck of the ship or on the shore watching and not being able to do a thing about it either way. The waves were too treacherous to get off the ship or to get to the ship. Overall though I wasn't happy with how the song turned out and never play it live. I tried re-writing it twice and finally gave up on it.

Hogkill Blues- This is one of the songs that my mother doesn't care for because I think I hit a nerve. During the Hormel Strike there was a lot of tension and turmoil and Austin was in bad shape. That event changed that little town and it'll never be the same again. At the time I was working at a filling station and talked to a lot of people, it affected all of us. The tension was so high. People would come in with flat tires because somebody was putting out golf balls with 16-penny nails drove through them. The song is kind of my perceptions and feelings about that time.

Jesus at the Kenmore - There was this very, very drunk guy giving a Sermon on the Mount kind of thing and threatening people with eternal damnation if they wouldn't buy him a drink. He seemed to believe that he was Jesus. It was sad, funny, and frightening all at the same time. I didn't think about writing a song about this poor guy but it just kind of happened much later on. I changed the name of the bar.

2008 remaster cover art

2008 Australian release cover art

2012 remaster cover art

Links:
• Download 1922 on Bandcamp
1922 CD release show at Gingko Coffee House (archive.org)
• "1922 Blues" live on WDSE-TV in 2002
Old, New, Borrowed and Blues (MPR)