John Hiatt: Blue Telescope
John Hiatt is one of my favorite writers. There’s nothing wrong with his music, but his words are what draw me in. Hiatt can be funny or ironic, or both at once. This is the man who rhymed amoeba with Queen of Sheba, and talked about a couple who stole money to do their laundry “and drove away clean.” But Hiatt can also be serious and poignant. And he can tug at the heart strings with a single image. Blue Telescope is about a man who broke up with a woman some time ago, and now regrets it even as she is marrying someone else. Hiatt describes the bride lifting up her veil, “her breath a lonesome vapor trail.” The feeling of the whole song is captured in that one image, and it’s one no one else would have thought of. That is what great writers do.