Mendocino County Line
In 2002, Taupin and songwriter-producer Matt co-wrote “Mendocino County Line.” A heartbreaking highlight on Willie Nelson‘s The Great Divide LP, Nelson recorded the tune as a duet with Lee Ann Womack. Further, it reached number 22 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. This ode to a doomed love affair was Nelson’s highest-charting single since 1990.
In addition to a gorgeous black-and-white video, “Mendocino County Line” won the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration. The song is a beautiful ballad about a love that couldn’t last, but the ex-lovers held on to the memory (through photographs) of the relationship throughout the rest of their lives. Mark Seliger directed the music video. Moreover, the song references Mendocino County, California, but ironically, you can’t see a sight of Mendocino in the video. The video setting showed Willie Nelson’s Luck, Texas property.
Inside the song…
The song is just a beautiful, simple track that focuses on a relationship that didn’t last. And, reminiscing through photographs of the time they spent together. Willie Nelson’s unique voice makes you feel at home, takes you to a safe, happy place in life. On the other hand, Lee Ann Womack’s angelic voice is absolutely beautiful and emotive. Hence, their voices blended well together, like they were made to sing together. Nelson opens the song, setting the scene, describing a love that is no more, and Lee Ann comes in on the second stanza, adding vulnerability and a sad sweetness to the song.
I have these pictures and I keep these photographs
To remind me of a time
These pictures and these photographs
Let me know I’m doin’ fine
I used to make you happy once upon a time
But the sun sank west of the Mendocino County line
Mendocino County is a county located on the north coast of the U.S. state of California. The County comprises the Ukiah, CA Micropolitan Statistical Area. It is located north of the San Francisco Bay Area and west of the Central Valley.
The county is noted for its distinctive Pacific Ocean coastline, its location along California’s “Lost Coast”, Redwood forests, wine production, microbrews, and liberal views about the use of cannabis and support for its legalization. It is estimated that roughly one-third of the economy is based on the cultivation of marijuana.
The notable historic and recreational attraction of the “Skunk Train” connects Fort Bragg with Willits in this place via a steam-locomotive engine, along with other vehicles.