Sweet Old World

Album: Sweet Old World (1992)
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Songfacts®:

  • The title track from Lucinda Williams' fourth studio album has the singer remembering a loved one who has committed suicide, wondering whether he knew he was loved and recalling all of the tender moments he left behind.

    "With this song, when I sing it I ask myself if I have to go back to that place. Am I able to do that? And my answer is yes," Williams explained in an A.V. Club interview: "It was one of the first songs where I wrote about suicide, and the whole idea and shock of it. People responded in a lot of different ways, but the majority said things like, 'This song helped me get through this,' or 'My brother committed suicide. Thank you for writing this song.' For me it's like the experiences I've had firsthand really demand an honesty. That kind of full disclosure and reality is something the audience connects to so strongly, especially with this one. People's responses were incredible. One time I was singing on a radio show, and this woman called in later and said, 'I heard that song, and it made me change my mind. I was thinking about ending it all.' It's just had such a profound impact on people."
  • This was featured in the 1997 movie Doing Time for Patsy Cline, starring Miranda Otto.
  • Suicide is a familiar theme in Williams' repertoire, with songs like "Seeing Black" and "Drunken Angel" arising out of personal experiences involving friends' suicides. "I write songs about those things to help me deal with it," she explains.

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