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Jackson Browne Tackles Woody Guthrie Diary

Browne has created a 15 minute love song based on Guthrie\'s notebook

The song, entitled 'You Know The Night', sees Jackson Browne and Rob Wasserman celebrating what would be Guthrie's 100th birthday by adapting a 30 page notebook written just after the protest singer had met the woman who would become his second wife for the first time.


The full version of the song weighs in at 15 minutes, although there is a 4 minute radio version for radio.

"There's a great photo of me with like 12 sheets of music taped to two stands and trying to sing this stuff and figure out when to sing, so in a way it was a real editing job," Browne told Rolling Stone Magazine. "There wasn't too much you could take out because it's his story." 

"You Know the Night" has been edited down to four minutes for radio, but the full performance – and the version that will appear on Notes of Hope, a collection of other musical interpretations of his writing – clocks in at just under 15 minutes. "The four-minute version came out really good but the 15-minute version is, like, impossible to cut down," says Browne. "We took out all the biographical stuff, really. They should be providing everybody with both." 

"[Guthrie] used to bully people's spirits," Browne says. "The people he sang for needed that. People he sang for needed to hear that one, they were not alone and two, there’s better times possible down the road. So, this song, the 15-minute version, is infused with that. There is something about him sitting on a park bench and playing with the curls of this beautiful girl's hair and talking about what kind of life they wanted. I think it’s so universal. It’s what people do when they fall in love. It’s gigantic. It’s a love song but at the same time a kind of an idealist trek."

You can listen to both versions of the song over on Rolling Stone's website, HERE

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