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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

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This Cold War With You: Floyd Tillman [1949]

Only a country song could use the Cold War as a metaphor for a romantic standoff and get away with it. Floyd Tillman's tired, lonely, heart-pained delivery of such lines as "the sun goes down and leaves me sad and blue, the iron curtain falls on this cold war with you" make the tune work not only as a great Cold War song, but as a great song period.

Floyd Tillman, nicknamed the 'the Original Outlaw' by Willie Nelson, was born in Ryan, Oklahoma in 1914, the son of a sharecropper. Tillman was raised in the cotton mill town of Post, Texas where he learned to play mandolin. Later Tillman learned how to play resonator guitar. Tillman played lead electric guitar in Adolph Hofner's western swing band in San Antonio where he immersed himself in a variety of different kinds of music.

Tillman's eclectic musical skills led him to jobs with Houston pop bandleader Mack Clark and various western swing groups. In 1939 Tillman recorded vocals with Leon 'Pappy' Selph's Blue Ridge Playboys and the same year Decca signed him as a solo artist. Tillman's first songwriting hit was It Makes No Difference Now recorded by Cliff Bruner in 1938 and Bing Crosby in 1940. During World War II Tillman served as a radio operator near Houston and he continued to be able to record. After the war Tillman scored another songwriting success with I Love You So Much It Hurts which was eventually recorded by Vic Damone, Red Foley and Andy Williams.

In 1949 Tillman wrote one of country's most famous 'cheating' songs, Slippin' Around that was a duet hit for Jimmy Wakely and Margaret Whiting. At the height of his career Tillman decided to recede from the spotlight, though he did record one last album, 'The Influence', shortly before his death in 2003. In 1984 Tillman was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
This Cold War With You: Floyd Tillman [1949]

The sun goes down and leaves me sad and blue
The iron curtain falls on this cold war with you
Though you won’t speak and I won't speak that's true
Two stubborn people with a cold war to go through

Oh why, oh, why should love ever come
To couples, like you and me
Whose cold, cold wars are never done
And whose hearts just can't be free
Oh let's do right or let's just say we're through
I just can't stand another cold, cold war with you

Oh why, oh, why should love ever come
To couples, like you and me
Whose cold, cold wars are never done
And whose hearts just can't be free
Now let's do right, or let's just say we're through
I just can't stand another cold, cold war with you

Floyd Tillman [1949]
This Cold War With You
(Tillman)
Columbia 20 615-4

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