Hank Williams - Wedding Bells

First performance: 12/12/1975


Bruce soundchecked the song 2 times:  
1975-12-12 Post Dome, Greenvale, NY 
Covers Soundcheck: 
Bruce soundchecked the song during a fascinating soundcheck, taped from outside the venue before the show. In the middle of a three-night stand at the Capitol, Bruce works through several Hank Williams and other classics.

Covers Soundcheck: 


"Wedding Bells" is a song written by Claude Boone and recorded by Hank Williams on MGM Records. "Wedding Bells" had been first recorded by Knoxville radio veteran Bill Carlisle on King Records in 1947 . According to country music historian Colin Escott, Claude Boone, who played guitar for Knoxville bluegrass star Carl Story, bought the song for twenty-five dollars from James Arthur Pritchett, a local musician and drunk who performed under the name "Arthur Q. Smith."[ The song's narrator describes his despair over the love of his life marrying another man. According to Boone, Hank called it "the prettiest song he'd ever heard." (Williams recorded it at Castle Studio in Nashville on March 20, 1949 )

Bruce on the artist

During the keynote speech at the 2012 South by Southwest music conference : 
"I remember sitting in my little apartment, playing "Hank Williams Greatest Hits" over and over. And I was trying to crack its code, because at first it just didn't sound good to me. It just sounded cranky and old–fashioned. But it was that hard country voice and I'm playing it, and it was an austere instrumentation. But slowly, slowly, my ears became accustomed to it, it's beautiful simplicity, and it's darkness and depth. And Hank Williams went from archival, to alive for me, before my very eyes."
Bruce also referes in some songs to lyrics from Williams 
I went down to the river to watch the fish swim by
But when I got to the river so lonesome I wanted to die, oh Lord
So that I jumped in the river, but the doggone river was dry
She's long gone, and now I'm lonesome blue


I have the invitation that you sent me
You wanted me to see you change your name
I couldn't stand to see you wed another
But dear I hope you're happy just the same

Wedding bells are ringing in the chapel
That should be ringing out for you and me
Down the aisle with someone else you're walking
Those wedding bell will never ring for me

I planned a little cottage in the valley
I even bought a little band of gold
I thought some day I'd place it on your finger
But now the future looks so dark and cold

Wedding bells are ringing in the chapel
I hear the children laughing out with glee
At home alone I hang my head in sorrow
Those wedding bells will never ring for me

I fancy that I see a bunch of roses
A blossom from an orange tree in your hair
And while the organ plays I love you truly
Please let me pretend that I am there

Wedding bells are ringing in the chapel
Ever since the day you set me free
I knew someday that you would wed another
But wedding bells will never ring for me