Patty Griffin has had a way with words since debuting in the 1990s. Her song lyrics paint vivid pictures of heartache, longing, inspiration and so much more. She’s been covered dozens of times by well-known artists and has toured with some of the best as well. Long after she’s finished creating music, her songs will live on through generations thanks to her honesty and a classic songwriter folk sound that never ages. AXS is taking a look at Patty Griffin’s top 10 songs.
10. “Nobody’s Crying”
Released on 2002’s 1000 Kisses, “Nobody’s Crying” is a classic Patty Griffin song that tells a story of love that’s been separated, hoping one day it would come back. Years have gone by but still, nothing has changed. But because nothing has changed, there aren’t any more tears left and all one can do is wish the person well.
9. “Let Him Fly”
“Let Him Fly” though released prior to “Nobody’s Crying” could be the precursor. There’s no reasoning anymore in the relationship. Griffin has done all she can do to save what’s left but it’s not getting her anywhere so all she can do is let it go.
Griffin certainly has an extensive catalog of breakup songs and “Rain” has been a favorite since its release in 2002. Despite the breakup, she’s still surviving though it feels like she’s under rain clouds. She knows she’ll be okay in the end, however.
7. “Heavenly Day”
“Heavenly Day” is one of Griffin’s most loved songs taken from one her most loved albums, Children Running Through. The sweet tune may be recognizable due to its use in the 2013 Chevy Volt commercials.
6. “Top of the World”
“Top of the World” was a song Griffin held onto before giving it a proper release in 2004. The song tells the story of a man who is looking back on his life and wishes he could have been better, both as a person and also a family man. The heartbreaking lyrics give it a sense that he man is feeling hallow inside full of regrets.
5. “I Don’t Ever Give Up”
Released on Children Running Through, “I Don’t Ever Give Up” finds Griffin acknowledging struggles she’s had throughout her life but her best trait is that she fights. She may fall, but she gets back up. She doesn’t have love currently, either, but she knows that it’s somewhere. The song quickly builds before coming back down and is a hidden gem in her extensive collection.
“Goodbye” may just be the hardest hitting song Griffin has recorded. It can easily be taken two ways — she’s parted ways with a love or someone has taken their life. It’s never easy saying goodbye, and sometimes we wish that words could have an impact on a situation and the progressive folk song captures that emotion, that long.
3. “When It Don’t Come Easy”
Patty Griffin tends to write about stark emotions everyone can relate to but not all of them are about love lost. In “When It Don’t Come Easy,” Griffin sings of dedication to another person rather it be a love or perhaps a child. Through good times and bad, “Easy” is about standing together.
2. “No Bad News”
“No Bad News” is one of Griffin’s uptempo songs that is infectious and captivating. It’s hard not to groove to the song that sings of leaving behind negativity only to focus on what’s good in life and what could be in the future. “News” is a highlight in Griffin’s extensive collection of inspirational tracks.
1. “Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)”
Like many before her, Griffin wrote “Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)” as a dedication to the late Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired by his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. Prior to its official release in 2007, Griffin had performed the song for two years and since then, it has become one of Patty Griffin’s most well-known songs.