Saturday, October 1, 2011


From time to time I bring up some stuff about music around these parts (see here, here, and here). Even though I don't typically get comments on these posts, I'll continue to put them out there because for me, music is a transcendent form of communication. I love many styles - if you scoot through the playlist over there? Each song chosen carefully with some jazz thrown in and toward the end some Sisters of Mercy to hearken back to my darker days. Around here This Mortal Coil can really get something going and yes, we still listen to Bauhaus.

I used to think I was weird for how intensely moved by music I could be. I don't think that anymore. However, it freaks me out how music can be fluid poetry. A song can make a remote memory crystal clear in an instant. The words and the melody work together in perfect synchronicity to create an image, a story, and it can move you unlike anything else can.

For example, take the first song over on my playlist. I'm lucky that I'll see Elbow at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass tomorrow while Tim and Ada are finishing up a Raiders game. I pulled up this song, one of my favorites, for Tim to listen to because he wasn't really getting why I was so excited to see them. I listened to the words, really listened, for the first time. I was blown away, welling up in the car on the way to Target.

This is poetry. This is a story. This is powerful imagery. The volume dynamic music is hypnotic, repetitive. I haven't been so moved by a song in a long, long time. The lyrics are included below for your enjoyment.

But first, reach back in the depths of your memory to tell me your favorite song and why.

The Bones of You - Elbow
So I'm there
Charging around with a juggernaut brow
Overdraft, speeches and deadlines to make
Cramming commitments like cats in a sack
Telephone burn and a purposeful gait

When out of a doorway the tentacles stretch
Of a song that I know
And the world moves in slow-mo
Straight to my head 
like the first cigarette of the day

And it's you, and it's May
And we're sleeping through the day
And I'm five years ago
And three thousand miles away

Do I have time? A man of my calibre
Stood in the street like a sleepwalking teenager
And I dealt with this years ago 
I took a hammer to every memento
But image on image like beads on a rosary
pulled through my head as the music takes hold
and the sickener hits; I can work till I break
but I love the bones of you
That, I will never escape

And it's you, and it's May
And we're sleeping through the day
And I'm five years ago
And three thousand miles away

And I can't move my arm
Through the fear that you will wake
And I'm five years ago
And three thousand miles away

3 Lovies:

Lisa said...

I cannot pick one favorite song. I have so many songs that are my favorites for different reasons.

Right now, my current favorite song is Colder Weather by the Zac Brown Band. I don't know why, but the song just blows me away.

Hi! I'm Aitch said...

No comments on Elbow, but mmmm... Sisters makes me think of clove cigarettes when I was 19 and early dates with Hubs.

Jacquelyn Wheeler said...

Thank you for this post...I'm always so glad to read about someone else who feels the same way about music that I do. I'm completely obsessed with Elbow's music. I only discovered them about two months ago, and I cannot stop listening to them. I went to Hardly Strictly just to see them, and I managed to get right up to the front, which made the whole experience over-the-top incredible. The lyrics in The Birds paints the most beautifully vivid picture, so much so that a whole story is evolving in my head that I will put in a future novel. The only other bands I've ever been this crazy about are The Europeans (Burning Inside You is my all-time favorite song) and R.E.M.