Kris Kristofferson Alec Dubro - Essay

Alec Dubro

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Kristofferson is] a romantic, and unashamedly so. Not too different from the Kerouac vision of the Fifties, with a reverence for the "real" America and an unfortunate case of city sophistication. It's a feeling most of us have felt, but Kristofferson has pulled it off in his life and made some really fine music in the process.

Kristofferson's biggest hit in rock circles has been "Me and Bobby McGee," an undiluted piece of romance, and to some extent, an epitome of a Kristofferson ballad. On [The Silver Tongued Devil and I] there is a song that is even more sentimental, to some people cloyingly so, but which I think is just a real pretty country song. "Jody and the Kid" is that, a neat kind of circle song. It begins with a little girl following Jody around, with folks saying "Looky yonder … there goes Jody and the kid." In the second verse she grows up and they get hitched. And it ends with another little girl, their daughter, following Jody down to the levee, just like her mama did.

"Jody and the Kid" is a perfect example of one of Kristofferson's contradictions, and of his ability to charm. It's the contrast between the crying-sweet lyrics and Kris' gravelly-deep macho voice, which is just arresting….

It is as lyricist that Kristofferson excels. His melodies are good, but without his poetry they wouldn't be much. In another "Bobby McGee" type of song, "When I Loved Her," Kris sings some...

(The entire section is 498 words.)