Poor Poor Pitiful Me
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2010)|
|"Poor Poor Pitiful Me"|
|Song by Warren Zevon|
"Poor Poor Pitiful Me" is a rock song written and originally recorded by Warren Zevon. It is best known as one of Linda Ronstadt's signature hits. Country music singer Terri Clark scored a hit in 1996 with her own cover of the song. There have also been many other versions of this song.
Warren Zevon version
It first appeared on Zevon's eponymous 1976 album Warren Zevon with backing vocals by Lindsey Buckingham. It was later included on his greatest hits compilations A Quiet Normal Life (1986), I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (1996), and Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon (2002). Live versions appeared on 1980’s Stand in the Fire and 1993’s Learning to Flinch. Alternate studio versions were included in the 2008 reissue of Warren Zevon, as well as the posthumous 2007 compilation Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings.
In keeping with Zevon's sardonic lyrical style, the song's verses deal with a failed suicide, domestic abuse, and a brush with sadomasochism. The song appeared first on Zevon's 1976 self-titled solo album. It is reputed to be a friendly swipe at Jackson Browne, whose songs (such as "Here Come Those Tears Again" and "Sleeps Dark and Silent Gate" from The Pretender) could be quite dark.
Linda Ronstadt version
|"Poor Poor Pitiful Me"|
|Single by Linda Ronstadt|
|from the album Simple Dreams|
|B-side||Simple Man Simple Dream or Blue Bayou|
|Released||January 10, 1978|
|Genre||Rock, Classic rock, Country Rock|
|Linda Ronstadt singles chronology|
Linda Ronstadt recorded a gender-altered version of the song during 1977. Ronstadt would recall that Jackson Browne had pitched "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" to her, teaching it to her in the living room of her Malibu home. Ronstadt's interpretation was produced by Peter Asher for her multi-platinum album Simple Dreams. Released as a single (on the Asylum label, #45462) at the beginning of 1978, Linda's rocking version of the song was the week's highest debut on the Hot 100 charts the week of January 28, 1978. It reached #26 on Cash Box Top 100 and #31 in Billboard.
It had already been a hugely popular radio hit as an album cut. Simple Dreams also contained another Zevon song, "Carmelita." Ronstadt’s live version appeared on the soundtrack album to the smash 1978 movie FM, while the studio version was included on her Platinum-plus album Greatest Hits, Volume 2.
|U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles||46|
|U.S. Billboard Easy Listening||27|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||31|
|Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks||9|
|Canadian RPM Country Tracks||36|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||31|
Terri Clark version
|"Poor Poor Pitiful Me"|
|Single by Terri Clark|
|from the album Just the Same|
|B-side||"Something You Should've Said"|
|Released||September 23, 1996|
|Terri Clark singles chronology|
Another country cover of the song was recorded by Canadian country singer Terri Clark. It was released in September 1996 as the lead single from her second album, 1996's Just the Same. Clark's version was a number one hit on the Canadian RPM country charts, and a number five hit on the country charts in the U.S.
Clark told Billboard magazine that she heard Linda Ronstadt's version of the song in a local gymnasium while she was exercising. She said "and I thought, what a cool song. What a great country record that could make. I started doing it live, and it worked."
The music video was directed by Deaton Flanigen and premiered in late 1996.
"Poor Poor Pitiful Me" debuted at number 47 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of October 12, 1996.
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||1|
|US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)||9|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||5|
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||43|
"The Fear of Being Alone"
by Reba McEntire
|RPM Country Tracks
December 9, 1996
"Crank My Tractor"
by Michelle Wright
- In 1986, SNFU did a hardcore punk cover of the song on the compilation It Came from the Pit.
- Country Kickers covered it in 1997 on The Best of Country ’96.
- Also in 1997, Mick Lloyd’s Nashville Sound Machine did it on The Best of Country Line Dancing.
- In 2003 Anne Louise Blythe covered it for Nashville Star: The Finalists.
- Vitamin String Quartet recorded a instrumental version of the song on Dad Get Me Out of This: The String Quartet Tribute to Warren Zevon in 2003.
- In 2003 The Lonestar Ladies did the song on A Tribute to Terri Clark.
- In 2004 Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt covered it on Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon.
- In 2005 Tim Crouch, Randy Kohrs, Larry Richardson, Kurt Mason and Bo Baseman covered it for Pickin’ to Kill: Pickin’ On Terri Clark: A Bluegrass Tribute.
- Also in 2005, Roots 66 did the song on Play Back.
- In 2009, Patty Stone covered it for The Cowgirls of Country.
- Trudy Andes did it on World Tour Live in 2009.
- In 2010, Tamra Hayden covered the song on I Believe in the Fire.
- In 2011 Kellie Witham did the song for Gone Country Part 2.
- Ronstadt, Linda (2013). Simple Dreams: a musical memoir (1st hardcover edition ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-4516-6872-8.
- Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 95–96. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
- Billboard, October 5, 1996
- "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 9900." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. December 9, 1996. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- "Terri Clark Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for Terri Clark.
- "Terri Clark Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Terri Clark.
- "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1996". RPM. December 16, 1996. Retrieved July 20, 2013.