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On this day in 1923 the American country singer and songwriter Hank Williams was born.
He grew up in rural Alabama but moved to Memphis where he worked and performed at the Grand Ole Opry. He produced a large number of hit songs including Your Cheatin’ Heart and Hey Good Lookin’. However his lifestyle and his addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs took their toll and he died at the tragically early age of 29 from alcohol related problems.
Most people who heard him sing did not forget the emotional intensity of the experience. John Donne, writing three hundred years before Hank Williams, was another who put great emotional intensity into his work such as this one, Sacred Sonnet:
Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
Today I ask that I will always do my best to help those struggling with addiction.