Friday, January 2, 2009

THIN LIZZY: "Dear Lord"

"Dear Lord, take the time/I believed your story, now you believe mine."

Those words are the plea of a desperate man, and that is just what Phil Lynott was during his final years. I write about Lynott yet again on the pages of Burning Wood because I miss the man. On Sunday, January 4th, Phil Lynott will be dead 23 years, after finally losing his battle not only with drug and alcohol abuse, but against the demons that ultimately put him in that dark place.

The unfortunate label of "one hit wonder" has been slapped on Thin Lizzy's page in the history books, thanks to the anthemic single "The Boys Are Back In Town." But Phil Lynott was a poet first, and a singer whose aching delivery would make songs about Irish street gangs, kinky sex, and life in the fast lane all sound so personal. He lived every word.

Success eluded this great band in the states. Lizzy had a loyal following though, and this allowed Lynott to have some minor success as a solo artist. But drinking and drug abuse started to take its toll and cancellations were plenty on their 1981 tour of the USA. It all ended in 1983.

"Dear Lord" is a song from Thin Lizzy's 1977 release "Bad Reputation," their last record to land in the Top 40 in America. A beautiful melody, the patented Lizzy guitar sound, and the almost uncomfortably personal lyrics of Phil Lynott make this an overlooked gem.

Listen to "Dear Lord" HERE


Brandon said...

I found your post while I was looking for some info about Phil Lynott.

Either you're a complete idiot or you're just trying to make your contribution to the revisionist story of the man - maybe both. In any case, you should really listen to the song again. Pay attention this time.

Sal Nunziato said...

I must be a complete idiot, Brandon. Thakns for your candor. Please enlighten me as to what I said to offend you so. I've been a fan and have respected the man for as long as I could remember. Have I gotten something so wrong? Could I have possibly missed something while innocently trying to turn people on to this great song?

Anonymous said...

How can a man (Lynott) describe his own demise in such a poetic way in the Lyrics of "Dear Lord" without saving himself - unless drug addiction makes you give up all hope? I find it really sad.

Anonymous said...

Peter Green was also writing about his own life in "Man of the World" Much like this song these guys have the ability to express the sadness and blues that they seem to have found themselves in. Sal you are correct about Phil's writing and he is a Poet and has so many great songs and lyrics that many will discover as time goes on. Thanks for the write up Wig........

Rich said...

I have been a Thin Lizzy Fan since I first heard them (about the time "The Boys are Back in Town" was released). I've since heard most all of their work. Being a Musician myself, I agree with Sal, there is no way he could write songs so exspressively if he wasn't truely feeling it. He was a modern day Poet. He wrote so many great songs that most people have never even heard (because they were never on the radio), and his vocal delivery was unique and all his own. Thin Lizzy never tried to "Sound" like anyone else. They had their own style and it was awesome. Not just Phil, but the entire Band and their work was never given the credit it was due. I still love their songs, they are timeless.