Friday, 23 July 2010

Musical genius

I’ve been listening to Picaresque (Amazon link) by The Decemberists this week. Fantastic album, full of great tunes, clever lyrics and interesting stories. I love how they write about such a range of subjects, from bereaved wives of American Civil War soldiers to teenage sporting disaster. Here’s a little sample of their lyrics:
When I was a girl how the hills of Oconee
Made a seam to hem me in
There at the fair when our eyes caught, careless
Got my heart right pierced by a pin

We are two mariners, our ship’s sole survivors
In this belly of a whale
Its ribs our ceiling beams, its guts our carpeting
I guess we have some time to kill
You may not remember me, I was a child of three
And you a lad of eighteen
But I remember you, and I will relate to you
How our histories interweave

Among five score pachyderm, each canopied and passengered
Sit the duke and the duchess’s luscious young girls
Within sight of the baroness, seething spite for this live largesse
By her side sits the baron, her barrenness barbs her
And we'll all come praise the Infanta

Trust me, I know they look really pretentious on screen but they work in the songs! If you like indie-folk-rock with a bit of prog and a guy with a slightly whiny voice…

While I’m on the subject of great lyrics, here’s a couple more that I just love, firstly from I Want You To Stay by Maximo Park:

I always said you could rely on me, now it seems that I was wrong
I want you to stay, I want you to stay with me
‘Cause nothing works round here where cranes collect the sky
I think of your face at night, ‘cause nothing works round here

It’s that line ‘where cranes collect the sky’ that gets me; what a perfect metaphor to describe a bleak urban, industrial landscape. Here’s another fab metaphor lyric, from my favourite American alt-folk singer, Laura Veirs and her song, Galaxies: (Unofficial video as the official one has got embedding disabled on YouTube)

When you sing, when you sing, stars fill up my eyes
Galaxies roll down my cheeks, galaxies
Galaxies, they flood the streets, galaxies

Hope you like some of these songs, and share your favourite lyrics below!

1 comment:

  1. I always felt that 'doop' was one of those songs that had lyrics that worked on so many levels.