Posts Tagged 'lyrics'

Lyrics o’ the day

I’ve been listening to Neko Case a bit lately, and I’ve been quite impressed with some of the imagery that she’s able to paint with words.  In fact, I’m always a bit jealous when an artist is able to convey something so powerful within the constrains of a few verses, choruses, and (perhaps) a bridge.

I’m talking about songs here, of course.

On her latest album ‘Middle Cyclone’, Neko kicks off with a strange “love song”, of sorts.  The object of affection is unnamed, unknown, and perhaps irrelevant, but the giver of affection is none other than a tornado.  Yes… a tornado.  Neko’s thought process, evidently, was “What would it look like it a tornado loved you?  Probably pretty dangerous.”  Strange and interesting, to say the least.

This Tornado Loves You”, from Middle Cyclone

My love I am the speed of sound
I left them motherless, fatherless
Their souls dangling inside-out from their mouths…
But it’s never enough
I want you

I carved your name across three counties
And ground it in with bloody hides
Broken necks will line the ditch
Til you “Stop it! Stop it! Stop the madness!”
I want you

I have waited with a glacier’s patience
Smashed every transformer with every trailer
Til nothing was standing
Sixty-five miles wide

But still you are nowhere, still you are nowhere,
Nowhere in sight
Come out to meet me, run out to meet me,
Come into the light

Climb the boxcars to the engine
Through the smoke and to the sky
Your rails could always outrun mine
So I picked them up and crashed them down
In a moment close to now
Cause I miss, I miss, I miss, I miss
How you’d sigh yourself to sleep
When I’d rake the springtime across your sheets

My love, I’m an owl on the sill in the evening
But morning finds you
Still warm and breathing
This tornado loves you
What will make you believe me?

Cool stuff.

Now that I think about it, is the “object of affection” here a train, perhaps?  Hmmm…


Lyrics o’ the day

One of my very favorite bands (ever, Ever, EVER!) is Over the Rhine.  Incredible music, beautiful vocals, and haunting lyrics.  It’s strange to think that I’ve been listening to this band *actively* for 15 years now!

Anyhow, I wanted to post a selection of their lyrics that I love.  It was difficult to choose any one song, to be honest, because they have so many great selections.  That said, this song showcases how even early on (circa 1994) they could paint pictures with words…

Within Without“, from the album Eve

is it because I cannot see you
that you feel so free to steal
my excess baggage full of darkness and despair
while I fumble with my locks
you’re content to stand and knock
yet I know your knack for thievery is rare

do you know they call it arson
setting fires without permission
in my heart for sure and maybe elsewhere too
though your lack of inhibition
captures my imagination
I end up a wiser person thanks to you

it’s coming to fruition
the sympathetic vibration
your train is at my station
within without

then there is your flare for murder
there’s a dagger in the border
of your cloak and I suspect a captain’s gun
as you put to death suspicions
kindly kill my fears as well
exorcise and slay the demons one by one

though I’m usually pacifistic
you are mercifully sadistic
and I didn’t know that murder could be good
but the roses came crimson
springing from the prison
of the floorboards where there once were stains of blood

it’s coming to fruition
the sympathetic vibration
your train is at my station
within without
it’s calming my suspicion
with soothing intuition
your train is at my station
within without

If you’ve never listened to Over the Rhine, you are truly missing some incredible music.  Go check ’em out right now, then get back to me!  Some of my *personal* favorite albums of theirs are… Eve, Ohio, and Drunkard’s Prayer.

Musical musings

I absolutely *love* music.  In fact, I can hardly trust people that don’t.  Equally as important to me as the music, though, is the content of the lyrics.  I’ve never been much one for instrumentals, though they’re fine from time to time.  I’d really rather chew on the words like a tough piece of steak — over and over until finally taking it in.  A competent mix of good music and great lyrics is what really floats my boat.  That was a clever pun, by the way, though you won’t know it until later…


One of the bands that I consistently enjoy both musically and lyrically is a group from Pennsylvania called mewithoutYou.  Ever heard of them?  To be fair, their musical style may or may not be to your liking.  I enjoy it.  Very much, in fact.  But I can see how some may not appreciate the vocal style or musical noise.  I would hope that anyone could respect some masterfully written lyrics, though.  I mean…. C’MON!  The first track off of their latest album, “Brother, Sister“, is titled Messes Of Men.

Here are the lyrics (mostly correct, I hope):

“I do not exist,” we faithfully insist
sailing in our separate ships, and in each tiny caravel
tiring of trying, there’s a necessary dying
like the horseshoe crab in its proper season sheds its shell
such distance from our friends, like a scratch across a lens,
made everything look wrong from anywhere we stood
and our paper blew away before we’d left the bay
so half-blind we wrote these songs on sheets of salty wood

you caught me making eyes at the other boatmen’s wives
and heard me laughing louder at the jokes told by their daughters
I’d set my course for land, but you well understand
it takes a steady hand to navigate adulturous waters
the propeller’s spinning blades held acquaintance with the waves
as there’s mistakes I’ve made no rowing could outrun
the cloth low on the mast like to say I’ve got no past
but I’m nonetheless the librarian and secretary’s son
with tarnish on my brass and mildew on my glass
I’d never want someone so crass as to want someone like me
but a few leagues off the shore, I bit a flashing lure
and I assure you, it was not what it expected it to be!
I still taste its kiss, that dull hook in my lip
is a memory as useless as a rod without a reel
to an anchor-ever-dropped-seasick-yet-still-docked
captain spotted napping with his first mate at the wheel
floating forgetfully along, with no need to be strong
we keep our confessions long and when we pray we keep it short
I drank a thimble full of fire and I’m not ever going back

Oh, my God!

“I do not exist,” we faithfully insist
while watching sink the heavy ship of everything we knew
if ever you come near I’ll hold up high a mirror
Lord, I could never show you anything as beautiful as you

Such great imagery.  That’s the kind of stuff that makes me think, feel, and ponder.  Your mileage may vary.