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Lecture 5

MUS 365 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Hank Cochran, Jeannie Seely, Merle Haggard

Course Code
MUS 365
Benjamin Ordaz

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Betrayal, Murder, and Prison
Part 8
The story of redemption through love and a move to the higher self continues with a
performance of Willie’s long time Nashville friend and fellow Paper Music composer
Hank Cochran’s “Can I Sleep in Your Arms,” which is set to the 19th century song “Rdd
River Valley”
Hank Cochran’s former wife, Jeannie Seely (was on the Grand Ole Opry since 1967)
recorded this song, which charted number 6 in 1967
This was her last top ten recording before becoming involved in a terrible auto accident
Garland Perry “Hank” Cochran was one of the top Country songwriters in the 1960’s,
penning many hits like “I Fall to Pieces” for Patsy Cline and “Its Not Love (But Its Not
Bad)” for Merle Haggard
Cochran collaborated on a number of songs with Willie Nelson
“Can I Sleep in Your Arms” is not one of them
Its melody is reminiscent of the 19th century song “Red River Valley”
“Can I Sleep in Your Arms” is followed by T Texas Tyler’s 1940’s California dancehall hit
song “Remember Me,” here played in Western Swing style by Nelson
It is another song that sounds the theme of love betrayed, but now this difficult time for
the Stranger begins to recede into memory
In Bill Callery’s beautiful song, “Hands on the Wheelthe Stranger seems to have finally
found redemptive love through a woman where the Stranger “is goin home” when “I
looked in your eyes/And I found myself in you
Jesus, in “The Aquarian Gospel confirms his divinity by not succumbing to the carnal,
lower, side of his love for a beautiful woman, but rather remains grounded in the higher
Nelson described this key passage for him in the “Aquarian Gospel
One of Jesus’lessons was the lesson of divine love, where he met this beautiful lady in
the chambers and she was playing on a harp and she was the most beautiful creature
He’d ever seen in his life, and he fell in love with this girl
It’s the most beautiful story in the world about how Jesus overcame carnal love and
retained his divine love because that was his reason for being here, to show divine love
to all mankind
Here he was being tempted by this most beautiful creature on earth, but he remained
He stayed Jesus, and stayed divine love personified
Through transcendent love, the Stranger too, has moved from the killing and hatred of
the lower self to the redemption and harmony of the higher self
The form of this song is AABA, with an unusual BA chorus
The cumulative effect is an AABABA sounding form
This same message, as worked through the life of the Stranger, may be embodied in the
beautiful instrumental closing track to “Red Headed Stranger” entitled “Bandera
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