Another video has been shot for the French version \"Tired of Being Sorry (Laisse le destin l'emporter)\". In it, Nâdiya and Iglesias are singing each from their part (she is outside, while he is near a car) before meeting around the end of the video.
In addition, in 1986 Ridgway appeared on Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill, singing a raucous version of Brecht/Weill's satiric \"Cannon Song\" (aka \"Army Song)\" from The Threepenny Opera, backed by the Fowler Brothers (trombone player Bruce Fowler has played in Captain Beefheart's Magic Band). Ridgway's interest in the theatrical aspects of performance--so evident in the vaudeville-like quality of his live shows--is evident here. He also contributed a song, used over the opening credits, to Wayne Wang's much-anticipated 1987 feature film, Slam Dance, titled \"Bing Can't Walk.\" The film received a mixed reception by the critics and did not do the \"boffo\" it was expected to do.
When WOV recorded \"Ring of Fire\" years ago, they dropped the horns. The Mexican horn riff from \"Ring of Fire\" returned virtually intact, however, years later when Ridgway recorded his marvellous \"Piledriver\" (on The Big Heat). And so when I say I hear \"(Ghost) Riders in the Sky\" in \"Lonely Town,\" I mean, to be precise, that I hear Cash's rendition of \"Ghost Riders\" in Ridgway's \"Lonely Town.\" In fact, I hear much of Cash's album Silver in Mosquitos, and I say this knowing that it is entirely possible that Ridgway has never heard Silver. What Cash understands is that \"Ghost Riders\" is a song of the sublime, of the human soul exposed to the very mystery of existence. At its very best, that which we call \"Western music\" attempts to capture the sublime, and Ridgway knows this. His sound is steeped in Western music, as \"Lonely Town\" (among others) reveals. It is no accident that Ridgway has recorded Rex Allen's \"Foggy River,\" for Allen was the last of the singing cowboys. Thus, it is through music that Ridgway maintains his connection to the American past and its informing myths. This is why a song such as \"Harry Truman\" (from Partyball) is particularly painful for him: it is, as it were, to cut one's self off at the knees. Moreover, while it is fashionable to mock or ridicule Red Sovine's \"Phantom 309\" as country corn, that song, too is about the sublime and that is what makes it work. And Ridgway certainly knows what makes a song work.
For the first time, Ridgway's lyrics are arranged as lyrics and not as blocks of prose. But more importantly, the lyrics begin to suggest a sort of self-contained personal mythology. Other songs on the album, such as \"The Gumbo Man\" and \"Snaketrain,\" support this claim. You have to read widely to decipher these lyrics; in the British magazine The Face, an article on Ridgway mentions \"a homebuilt dummy named Jack\" that Ridgway had as a kid: \"I was a good ventriloquist,\" he says. \"Trouble is I had no jokes\" (83). (You can see a picture of Jack, held by the young Stan Ridgway, on the 1992 \"best of\" CD Songs That Made This Country Great. Lately, Jack's own alter ego has emerged in the persona of \"Jack Teak Lazar\"; \"Jackie\" has a \"starring\" role in Ridgway's \"Big Dumb Town\" video.) The actual Jack--before his incarnation as Jack Teak Lazar--will make an appearance in Carlos Grasso's film The Drywall Incident (1995) a few years later. Perhaps this early fascination with ventriloquism--literally speaking in another's voice--contributed to the development of Ridgway's keen empathetic capacity that informs his songs. \"For four years beginning at age 10, the young Stan was obsessed with ventriloquism,\" Bill Forman noted in BAM 226 (18). (\"'The dummies went by the wayside when I first heard Albert King's 'Crosscut Saw,'\" he said.)
Yet juxtaposed beside the harsh indictments of American pop culture and the experimentalism are indications of a more Romantic form of self-expression. \"Right Through You\" is an example, a remarkable re-telling of Matthew Arnold's equally remarkable \"The Buried Life\" but heavily indebted as well to Bob Dylan's \"You're A Big Girl Now.\" In that decades-old poem, Arnold means by \"the buried life\" not that which one hides from the world, but rather that dimension of one's emotional life which a person simply cannot articulate, or rather, can only articulate through the concreteness of the poem. When Ridgway sings, \"I'm chippin' the rock/But it's dark in the mine,\" we know he's telling us he's struggling, digging down into the Self, and it's damned hard to talk about. \"But I try to act sure/I try to endure,\" and he tells us it's not him, but a portion or dimension of himself that he can talk about. And it is hard because he's trying to tell us precisely about the Self, or rather His Self: \"Like a bird on a limb/Starin' down at its toes/No song it could sing/No its voice it just froze,\" he sings, but we know that that's no other he's singing about, but rather himself he's singing about--when he sings those lyrics we read on paper, he changes them to: \"No song he could sing/No his voice it just froze.\" 153554b96e