Song of the day – 107: Daniel Johnston
I’ve heard a lot of Daniel Johnston’s music in my life. And I mean a lot.
My iTunes folder lists 560 songs by him, and I’m not sure that’s even the majority of it. I dunno. It seems that whenever I press “shuffle” on my iPod Touch it invariably throws up one of Daniel’s songs – and that clearly I’m more familiar with some than others. I am supposed to be writing a book on the dude, after all. I have conducted a ton of interviews already. I’ve written sleeve-notes for the just-released incredible-looking Munster collection, and I even performed a spoken word piece about Daniel with his guitarist Brett Hartenbach in a packed warehouse space in Melbourne a couple of months back. So I guess I have a little prior knowledge here.
I have many favourite Daniel Johnston songs. Many. And from all periods of his musical career. I was going to choose ‘A Little Story’ from Songs Of Pain as one of the keys to understanding Daniel’s early motivation (and the intrinsic beauty of his voice and melodies). However, I’ve plumped for ‘Cold Hard World’ from Don’t Be Scared, as it was a song that stood out among many stand-outs while I was engaged in writing those Munster sleeve-notes.
So whatever. Here it is.