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Totally Unrequested: Daniel Johnston, "Grievances"

February 22, 2018 | by Jocelyn Hoppa

"Grievances" off of the remarkable Songs of Pain (1980-81)... Have you ever heard anything more pure, insightful, and beautiful?

The endearing, lilting Phil Ochs-esque piano playing, the almost impossibly high, soul-piercing register of his voice at the bridge, all while calling humanity a circus full of clowns. All the constant themes of his music in this one track, his love for librarian muse Laurie Allen, mediocrity, the game of life, death, the aloneness we all must endure. Jesus.

And if the "I don't want no cow" gets your underwear in a jumble, watch this video of Daniel Johnston explaining the cow concept that surfances in his music to Gibby Haynes (at the very start of the video).

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