Heart. Floor. Broken.

“You only know what I want you to
I know everything you don’t want me to
Oh your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine
You think your dreams are the same as mine
Oh I don’t love you but I always will
Oh I don’t love you but I always will
Oh I don’t love you but I always will
I always will

I wish you’d hold me when I turn my back
The less I give the more I get back
Oh your hands can heal, your hands can bruise
I don’t have a choise but I’d still choose you

Oh I don’t love you but I always will
Oh I don’t love you but I always will
Oh I don’t love you but I always will
I always will”

~Poison & Wine
The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow

With words this strong, you don’t need many of them. True ballads tell stories, and often songwriters take this out to six or seven minutes of several verses and bridges, naming characters and time and places. This is a love song, for that long-lost yet still-here type of love. I cannot stop listening/playing it (for the record — it’s capo 6, I think).

On a different note, this album, “Barton Hollow,” quickly captured my heart. It’s three parts Americana, one part pop-folk. The match-up of incredible harmonies and value in simplicity seem fit from a 19th century midwest farm, but purity, drama and honesty create a lyrical quality no era can avoid. “Poison & Wine” is a radio-bred tune, to be sure, but “I’ve Got This Friend” and “Forget Me Not” almost surely grew up drinking midday sweet tea on Tennessee plantations.