My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

The Seven Year Ache

rosannecashI was a senior in high school in 2002.  It was a cold gray January day in Ohio, and I was driving home from school all by myself that day.  For reasons I’ve forgotten, none of my regular car pool buddies were with me that afternoon.  I was what I would call a casual fan of country music at the time.  My CD player regularly spun really mainstream acts like Garth Brooks and Reba, and I had a passing affection for Brooks & Dunn, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and a few others.  But I was hardly the country fan I am today.

That afternoon, a song came on my radio that forever changed how I perceived country music.  One of my local stations (I get 3 country stations from around the tri-state) used to play lots of album cuts in the afternoon and ask listeners to call in with their comments.  Well, this day the D.J. (or the program director) decided to test Trisha Yearwood’s recording of the Rosanne Cash classic ‘Seven Year Ache’, a track from 2001’s Inside Out.  Rosanne Cash sings harmony and even takes the lead for a couple lines in the second verse here – and I am a big fan of her version too.  However, the Yearwood version brought me to the dance, so it’s still the one I dance with most often.

The song kicks off with its signature guitar riff – which is catchy in its own right.  But, this was the first time a song had ever really grabbed me with its lyrics and drew me in.  When the song was over and I learned it was actually a classic country song Trisha Yearwood had covered, it was then that I decided to dig deeper into the catalogs of country music’s artists and seek out more gems like this one.

I was instantly taken with the protagonist in this song.  The verses paint a vivid picture in my imagination – like a  mini music video playing inside my head as the story unfolds.  I see a woman at home alone, sitting on the edge of the bed, lost in thought.  I see a man in a seedy dive, with all the characters that usually inhabit the places.  And I wonder, just like this woman does, why?  Why has the man lost interest in his wife?

Rosanne reportedly wrote the song after a fight with then-husband Rodney Crowell.  Heartache and anguish are often the sources of life’s greatest inspiration.  The songwriter herself says of the lyric:  “That’s one of those gifts you only get once in life.  I wrote it in about an hour. I just poured my soul out into the song.”  She bared a lot of herself in the process, but gave us, in my opinion, one of the greatest lyrics of our time.

It’s been over seven years now since I first heard these two verses and chorus, and I still haven’t had a single yearwoodinsideout1song affect me as much as this one.  Some have come close, but just like a first love, my introduction to true lyrical genius was a once-in-a-lifetime experience – but one I’ve spent the past seven years trying to recapture.  So goes the seven year ache.

Listen to Trisha Yearwood (with Rosanne Cash) – ‘Seven Year Ache’

6 responses to “The Seven Year Ache

  1. Razor X March 23, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    As someone who can vividly remember when Rosanne’s version was on the charts, you are making me feel really old!!

  2. Chris March 23, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    I guess I wasn’t quite sure what this song was about, now I know! Love the song, it’s my favorite from that album.

    Trisha’s latest album (Heaven, Heartache and the Power Of Love) had a similar effect on me, making me pursue good country music instead of just what’s currently popular.

  3. Michael March 24, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    This really is a great song and also brought me to the Rosanne Cash party. It isn’t my favorite song of hers (That would be “Runaway Train”) or Trisha’s (“On a Bus to St. Cloud” or “I Don’t Paint Myself Into Corners Anymore”) or my favorite cover (Terri Clark’s “Easy From Now On”), but I remember being pretty thrilled when I heard that Trisha Yearwood had chosen to cover it. I was even more excited when I found out that she had asked Rosanne to join her. I remember an interview in which Trisha recounted the story of how she had to insist that the synthetic hand claps from the original had to remain in this version, 20 years later. There’s nothing I love more than discovering a hidden gem among an album’s singles. It’s kind of like your own little secret.

  4. Occasional Hope March 24, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing the story.

    It is a great song, and although I did know the original first, I prefer Trisha’s version because she’s such a great singer.

  5. Doug November 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    The song speaks for itself but cudos to this reviewer. One the best reivews of any song I’ve ever read. You speak in terms important to the appreciation of music.

  6. Pingback: Album Review: Rosanne Cash – ‘Seven Year Ache’ « My Kind Of Country

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