Can't Cry Hard Enough

Album: The Williams Brothers (1991)

Songfacts®:

  • Not to be confused with the '50s vocal group featuring Andy Williams, these Williams Brothers are the guitarists Andrew and David. Before recording on their own, they played in T-Bone Burnett's band and also backed up Brian Setzer. This was their biggest hit, it's a moving song about missing someone who has passed away and the helplessness that comes from never being able to see that person again. It has since been covered by several other artists, including Smokie and Christine Collister. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
  • David Williams wrote this with Marvin Etzioni from the band Lone Justice. Marvin Etzioni told us in a 2013 interview that "writing the song was like a magical moment." He recalled: "David, his brother Andrew and I, we were all writing songs for their [The Williams Brothers] second record. And so David said, 'Hey, why don't you just stay over tonight.' He was house-sitting. And I said, 'Great.' And so I stayed over and in the morning he said, 'Hey, I've got an idea for something.' He played me the opening line and the piano chords to what started the song. And I said, 'Hold on a second.' And I literally just wrote on a piece of paper the lyrics. And I said, "Hey, I think I've got something. It's called 'Can't Cry Hard Enough.'" He goes, 'Okay, that sounds good.' And so I said, 'You play and I'll sing what I've written, and then we'll kind of piece it together." And really it just kind of fell into the room. That was it."

    Andrew and Victoria Williams showed up about an hour later and Etzioni and David Williams told them they'd written this new song. Etzioni recalled that after playing it to them, "they were like, You mean if we were here an hour earlier we would have been co-writers? I guess so. But it's done. So that was it. It was kind of a gift, really."
  • Regarding the inspiration for the lyrics, Etzioni told us: "There were things going on. I'd lost my grandmother, and so it's a subject matter that I connect with. It wasn't disconnected. I mean, there are stories of songs that take a really long time, or 'We had the track first and then we built…' it doesn't really have that kind of story. It was one of those songs that just came into the room and fell together in an extraordinary way."

Comments: 2

  • Paul S. from Pittsburgh, Pa.Actually, her version did predate The Williams Brothers by two years, so although David and Marvin Enzioni wrote it, hers is the "original"
  • Paul S. from Pittsburgh, Pa.I was thinking Victorias version was released first but I guess not. Unreal to me as a fan of hers that she and Andrew came over right after it was completed. Her version with both Williams Brothers playing/singing with her is the definitive version imo and it was my introduction to the song. Incredible too that they're not related but became friends and are apparently musical and spiritual brothers and sister. They play on a lot of her songs too.
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