Resources for Loss

"I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams Sr., contributed by Audrey Moorhead (2023)

Sometimes referred to as the “Hillbilly Shakespeare,” Hank Williams Sr. (1923–1953) casts a long shadow over country music. Williams’s career spanned from the late 1930s until the early 1950s. His struggles with chronic pain contributed to his lifelong problems with alcoholism and drug abuse, which negatively impacted his career and ultimately caused his untimely death of heart failure at just 29 years old.

Williams was known for his direct yet sophisticated lyrics, as exemplified in one of his best-known songs, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” The song has been covered by countless artists across generations and genres, and songwriters still pay homage to Williams by referencing the iconic opening line: “Hear that lonesome whippoorwill / He sounds too blue to fly.” The natural imagery throughout the song perfectly encapsulates the speaker’s desolation after the loss of his lover and the universal quality of the speaker’s loss.

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