American folk singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie has been performing since the 1960s, and he shows no signs of slowing down. He has written and recorded many great songs throughout his career, but which ones are the best? Here is a list of the ten best Arlo Guthrie songs.
10. Hard Times Come Again No More (2020)
Hard Times Come Again No More is a powerful song about the struggles of the American people. Arlo Guthrie recorded a new version of the song in 2020, and it is as relevant today as ever. The song is about the fight for justice and the hope for a better future. It describes the struggles of the American people and the courage they need to keep fighting. It is a song that will inspire you never to give up.
9. Massachusetts (1976)
Massachusetts is a beautiful song about the state of Massachusetts. Arlo Guthrie wrote it in 1976, and it was released on his album Amigo. The song is about the history and beauty of Massachusetts, and it is one of Guthrie’s most popular songs. The song describes the many different aspects of Massachusetts, from its mountains to its beaches. It is a song that will make you fall in love with the state. It is one of the ten best Arlo Guthrie songs of all time.
8. When A Soldier Makes It Home (1994)
Penned by Guthrie, “When a Soldier Makes It Home” is a song about veterans’ difficulties when returning home from war. The music speaks to the emotional and psychological toll that war can take on a person and the challenges of readjusting to civilian life. In an interview with Billboard, Guthrie said of the song: “It’s about a soldier who comes home, and all his buddies are gone. He’s trying to make a living, and he can’t. He’s got all the training and skills, but he can’t find a job because he’s a soldier. And he can’t find anybody to talk to because all his buddies are gone. So he starts talking to the plants and the animals, and they start talking back to him.” The song is both moving and powerful, and it offers a unique perspective on the challenges faced by veterans. Guthrie’s lyrics are poetic and evocative, and the song’s melody is haunting and memorable.
7. Coming into Los Angeles (1969)
The song is about Guthrie’s journey from New York City to Los Angeles and the various people and events he encountered. The music is Guthrie’s most popular and has been covered by numerous artists. The song is a classic Guthrie tale full of humor and wit. Guthrie’s lyrics are clever and humorous, and the song has a great melody that is easy to listen to. The song describes the various people and characters Guthrie met on his journey and is an excellent window into the 60s counterculture movement.
6. St. James Infirmary Blues (1967)
Arlo Guthrie’s take on the traditional “St. James Infirmary Blues” is one of the singer’s most well-known tracks. The song was originally written by American jazz trumpeter and composer Louis Armstrong in the 1920s. Guthrie’s version is a slower, acoustic rendition highlighting the singer’s unique voice and finger-picking style. It was released on Guthrie’s 1967 album, Alice’s Restaurant. The song is about a man who visits a prostitute in a Louisiana brothel and then contracts syphilis and dies.
5. Amazing Grace
Released on Arlo Guthrie’s 1972 album “Alice’s Restaurant,” “Amazing Grace” is one of Guthrie’s most popular and well-known songs. The song is a gospel number and tells the story of a man’s journey to redemption. Several artists have covered the song over the years, and it is often played at religious ceremonies. The lyrics describe the power and beauty of grace and have become a popular source of comfort for many listeners. It’s no surprise that it made our list of the ten best Arlo Guthrie songs.
4. The Motorcycle Song (1967)
Written by Arlo Guthrie, “The Motorcycle Song” was released in 1967 on the album Alice’s Restaurant. The song is about Guthrie’s experience working on a motorcycle assembly line. It is one of Guthrie’s most famous songs and has been covered by numerous artists, including Bruce Springsteen and the Dropkick Murphys. The song talks about the monotony of the job and how it can make a person feel like a machine. It is a protest song that speaks to the working class.
3. Can’t Help Falling in Love
Elvis Presley has initially recorded this beloved ballad in 1961, but Arlo Guthrie’s version was released in 1967 on the album “Alice’s Restaurant.” Guthrie’s rendition is slower and simply unforgettable. Over the years, the song has been covered by numerous artists and has become a standard at weddings and other events. The lyrics describe the singer’s unconditional love for a woman, and the song has been interpreted in many ways over the years.
2. City of New Orleans (1971)
One of Guthrie’s most famous songs, City of New Orleans, was written and recorded by Steve Goodman in 1971. Goodman gave the song to Guthrie to register, and the track became a hit, reaching number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is about the City of New Orleans train, which runs from Chicago to New Orleans. Guthrie’s version is a tribute to the train and its passengers. Many artists have covered the song, including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Roger Miller.
1. Alice’s Restaurant (1967)
This protest song, inspired by an event that happened to Guthrie, is now an American classic. It was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks and was ranked number 79 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song is about Alice’s Restaurant, which was closed down by the police for serving food to hippies. The lyrics are clever, and Guthrie’s voice is perfect for the song.
These are just a few of Arlo Guthrie’s best songs. He has written and recorded dozens of impressive tracks over the years, and it was tough to narrow it down to just 10. These songs represent Guthrie’s talent as a singer, songwriter, and storyteller. We hope you enjoy them.