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americansongwriter: Lyric Of The Week: Kris Kristofferson, “The...

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Lyric Of The Week: Kris Kristofferson, “The Pilgrim, Chapter 33″

It’s common for songwriters to try and disguise the identity of those folks they write about in their songs, if only to preserve the mystery a little bit. Kris Kristofferson must have known, however, that his song “The Pilgrim, Chapter 33” was an airtight piece of work, and so he names all of the potential suspects that partially inspired the song right off the bat in the spoken-word intro.

Among the candidates he mentioned are just about every musician who played on 1971’s The Silver Tongued Devil And I, Kristofferson’s second album which contains “The Pilgrim”, as well as bold-faced names from the worlds of music and movies like Johnny Cash, Jerry Jeff Walker, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bobby Neuwirth, and Dennis Hopper. Come to think of it, he could have named just about any one of the iconoclastic characters that frequented Hollywood and Nashville around that time and the song would have seemed like a dead-on portrait of that person.

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