Emmylou

Album: The Lion's Roar (2012)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • First Aid Kit is a Swedish folk duo comprising sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, who hail from Enskede, a southern suburb of Stockholm. The teenaged siblings began composing songs in 2007, taking their name at random from an English dictionary. The following year their YouTube cover of the Fleet Foxes song "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song," recorded when the younger sister Klara was just 15, spread their name rapidly on the Internet. Their debut album, The Big Black & The Blue was released on the London-based Wichita Records label in 2010 to largely positive reviews. This is a track from their second album The Lion's Roar, which was produced by Bright Eyes guitarist Mike Mogis.
  • This song is a homage to two of the sisters' favorite country-rock songwriting partnerships - Gram Parsons with Emmylou Harris, and Johnny Cash with June Carter. The Söderbergs told The Sun why they chose to sing about these two duos. They explained: "The artists we mention in 'Emmylou' are some of our all-time favourite singers and songwriters. They have inspired us endlessly and in a way this is a tribute to them. When they sing together it's an otherworldly power. You can hear the love seeping through those vocals chords. The song is about the intimate connection you get when you sing together. Johnny and June were obviously married and although Emmylou and Gram never were an official couple there are certainly rumours. To us the song is saying: 'We may not be able to be together, but at least we can sing together.'"
  • The song's music video finds the two sisters wandering through Joshua Tree National Park, which is the alleged site of Parson's cremation.
  • Klara, the duo's principal lyricist, is often skeptical of Johanna's musical suggestions. "Oh totally," she laughed to Q Magazine, "they're so annoying! Especially when she's saying that one part of a song could work with another part of another song I've written. I'm like, 'Are you crazy? That would sound terrible!' And then I play it and it sounds great, and then I'm like, 'Goddammit, you're right.' Even on Emmylou the verse for that was for another song, and I said to her, 'No you can't put those two together beside the lyrics mean so much to me...' But in the end it worked out."
  • So what does Emmylou Harris think of First Aid Kit's Emmylou song? "I loved it," she told Uncut magazine. "Everybody told me I had to hear this song, but for some reason I didn't seek it out. Then I was on tour in Australia and it came on in a store in Adelaide. I remember stopping and saying, 'Boy, that's really beautiful.' And then I heard these beautiful voices singing my name and I went, 'O my gosh, that's the song everybody's been talking about!' It was nice to hear it in that way without expectation - it was one of those little gifts from the universe."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

JJ Burnel of The Stranglers

JJ Burnel of The StranglersSongwriter Interviews

JJ talks about The Stranglers' signature sound - keyboard and bass - which isn't your typical strain of punk rock.

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo Lyric

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo LyricMusic Quiz

In this quiz, spot the artist who put Romeo into a song lyric.

The Evolution of "Ophelia"

The Evolution of "Ophelia"Song Writing

How four songs portray Shakespeare's character Ophelia.

Kip Winger

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

Early Days of MTV

Early Days of MTVFact or Fiction

If you can recall the days when MTV played videos, you know that there are lots of stories to tell. See if you can spot the real ones.