Emmylou Harris Transforms Slow-Burning Beatles Ballad Into Folk Tune

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When The Beatles gained popularity in the 1960s – they started an entire musical revolution. Many have tried to copy the pop stars but none have ever come close. It was the musicians – like Emmylou Harris – who showed respect for their lyrics, that were able to capture The Beatles’ musical genius and present it in their own special way.

“For No One”

Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, the deeply moving tune is an ode to lost love and the ending of a relationship. They released the song in 1966 on their Revolver album and it is said to have been one of John Lennon’s favorite creations.

Pieces Of The Sky

Fast forward to 1975, and Emmylou Harris is releasing her debut album with Reprise Records. While she had previously released a folk-like Gliding Bird, this album took a totally different direction.

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This was one of my very first country LPs. It's been very well loved. When exploring playing with my first band, @thegrislyhand, we learned her version of the Louvin Brothers' song, "If I Could Only Win Your Love". Emmylou inspires in many ways- her stage presence, her fiery guitar and tambourine playing, her other worldly voice, but she also consistently chooses incredible songs. This album is a perfect example of her love of country heavy hitters alongside songs penned by the Beatles and Shel Silverstein. Come see us Tuesday, Nov. 20th @theshipkc at 7:00pm. #tbt #countryandwestern #emmylou #countrymusic #kansascitycountry #repriserecords #emmylouharris #piecesofthesky #honkytonkmusic #hillbillymusic #drinkingsongs #lornakaysonenightstand #lk1ns #lkons

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Having met Gram Parsons and created a musical relationship with him – her style had evolved into something richly unique. Throughout the album – and especially on the “For No One” track – you can hear her folk background merge with her new eclectic country sound.

A Country Legend Pays Her Respects

So when Emmylou Harris was looking for a tune to add to her 10 Commandments of Country Music broadcasted on BBCFour in 2007 – she decided to add the unconventional song.

She told her crowd, “The song I’m about to play for you right now probably breaks one of the cardinal rules of country music that Harlan Howard set forth which was, ‘country music is three cords and the truth.’ This really has way more than three cords but it’s such a good song – and it’s about love hurting real bad.”

Harris than gently strummed her guitar and begins singing the heartbreaking ballad. You can watch her beautiful performance in the video below and let us know what you think in the comments.