Saturday, September 12, 2009

Midnight in Missoula ...

Ever the fan of useless trivia, I was randomly wondering last week which of Montana's place names has had the most songs written about it. Though I haven't done a full-blown study of the issue, my guess is that the winner is probably Missoula ... not only is the town a bastion of the creative arts, but the word "Missoula" is itself thoroughly evocative and lyrical.

One of the better examples of this particular sub-genre is the song "Midnight in Missoula," by the country singer and songwriter Nanci Griffith; it appeared in her 2001 album Clock without Hands. Here's a sample stanza:
I'd love to climb your hilltop and look out upon Missoula lights
Sing Samuel Barber melodies with your viola sweet and high
But I am off to Liverpool on an early evening flight
And wondering of you
And if you're sleeping in Missoula tonight


  1. I bought "Midnight in Missoula" some time ago, by Eliza Gilkyson...adore her voice, although I would have bought Nanci's version had I not heard Eliza's first. She's a little bluesier...

  2. I'm normally not a fan of country music, but I did like this one ... when you add a little blues to the genre, it can be quite nice, indeed.

    I've seen several covers of "Midnight in Missoula," but don't know that I've heard any of them ...