Discussing
Gillian Welch’s '10 sad songs'

Allison Backous Troy

John Thompson
August 1, 2011

I like your observations. I love the dual meaning of the title The Harrowing and The Harvest. It's easy to think of "harrowing" as a fancier way of saying "frightening," which it is... that big scythe that the Grim Reaper wields is, in fact, a harrow. But harrows are used to cut down the wheat when it's ready to be harvested. I guess if you're a kernel of wheat the harrow is a sign that you are about to fulfill your purpose - being reborn as something that will give life. If you are the chaff - or worse yet - the weeds - then the harrow SHOULD be scary. It's the tool of your impending demise. Gillian and David always function on that kind of dual level and it sets their wonderful music apart. Good stuff.<br><br>BTW - the audio from their set at the Newport Folk Fest was up on the NPR site last time I checked. Worth a listen for sure.

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
August 2, 2011

We're having trouble with our Disqus comment feature, which won't allow these thoughts through from John J. Thompson, another TC music reviewer:<br><br>"I like your observations. I love the dual meaning of the title The <br>Harrowing and The Harvest. It's easy to think of "harrowing" as a <br>fancier way of saying "frightening," which it is... that big scythe that<br> the Grim Reaper wields is, in fact, a harrow. But harrows are used to <br>cut down the wheat when it's ready to be harvested. I guess if you're a <br>kernel of wheat the harrow is a sign that you are about to fulfill your <br>purpose - being reborn as something that will give life. If you are the <br>chaff - or worse yet - the weeds - then the harrow SHOULD be scary. It's<br> the tool of your impending demise. Gillian and David always function on<br> that kind of dual level and it sets their wonderful music apart. Good <br>stuff.<br><br>BTW - the audio from their set at the Newport Folk Fest was up on the NPR site last time I checked. Worth a listen for sure."

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