January 24, 2009

Come Come Ye Saints

I remember people scoffing at the Mormon pioneer hymn, "Come, Come Ye Saints" because its tune is from some English drinking song. But that just seals it for me as a song written by and for some seriously humbled folks who made tremendous exertions and sacrifices for what they believed in.

But that's only one reason I'm posting what may just be the greatest cover ever of CCYS. While shooting his documentary New York Doll about Arthur "Killer" Kane, the glam punk pioneer-turned-Mormon, director Greg Whiteley got surviving Dolls David Johansen and Brian Koonin to sing a couple of old school hymns, unplugged. The guitar-and-harmonica arrangement of "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" runs over the closing credits of New York Doll, and it's as soulful and rocky as any Rubin-era Johnny Cash.

"Come, Come Ye Saints" is only on the New York Dolls DVD, though. I think. They only sing one verse, the last one, which fits all too well.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: January 24, 2009.

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