9 Aug

handwritingI was totally that girl in high school who scribbled song lyrics all over her notebooks.

Nine times out of 10, they were Smashing Pumpkins lyrics.

I had no idea what Billy Corgan was singing about, but it didn’t matter, not really. I had my few choice lines that meant something to me and I held on to them like a security blanket.

I really hate the fact that I buy so much of my music online, but I do, and because of that, I don’t connect to lyrics like I used to.

Used to (my blog I can writehoweverIwant), I’d listen to an album with earbuds as far into my ears as I could jam them (what?) and with the liner notes and lyrics in hand, reading every single word. I don’t do that anymore, since I don’t have the liner notes handy. And I’m not about to sit at my computer and read lyrics that somebody (who probably spells like Prince) has hastily entered into a Web site. (“I will follow U in2 the dark?” don’t think so)

I miss that so much. I miss that like I miss that record player I had as a kid, the one I listened to all that Beach Boys vinyl on. I miss that like I miss sneaking glances of “Alf” on TV from the dinner table.

And since I’ve stopped listening to music in that way, I’ve noticed that my focus has switched more from lyrics to the actual music. I’m totally cool with that; I feel like I’m growing as a listener, actually, as nerdy as that sounds. But over the weekend, I remembered a line in a song that I absolutely love, a line that makes me melt everytime I hear it, and I wondered – if I had a notebook today, what lyrics would be scribbled on it?

This certainly is no best-lyrics-of-all-time list, but just a random smattering of lyrics that I really love and have thought about over the weekend.

A few weeks ago somebody on NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast played this song and actually mentioned this line that I, too, love so much.

The song? “The Twist” by Frightened Rabbit (you probably know it best as That Song They Played on ‘Chuck’ That One Time). The song is a marvelous ode to simply wanting a little human connection. It’s awkward and driving and lovely.

The lyric? “Lift your dress enough to show me those shins.” What a great line. That funny little line tells the whole story brilliantly.

I also love the second verse: “Let’s pretend I’m attractive and then/You won’t mind, we’ll twist for a while/It’s the night, I can be who you like/And I’ll quietly leave before it gets light.”

Sigh. #overidentifymuch? #sheenayourenotontwitter #mybad

Anyways. I’ve loved Jessica Lea Mayfield‘s “Kiss Me Again” for what feels like forever (doesn’t it feel like the kind of song that’s been around forever?) but only recently have I felt like I really “got” the song, or at least I get what I think it means. I think: so, so seldom in life, you meet somebody who you feel so excited to just be around that you can’t think straight, and you’re so busy thinking that, geez, this person is right here, right in front of..oh wait? it’s a kiss you want? Oh, OK, I don’t mind…

“You got me where you want me, but I ain’t all there/my head is gone, my brain is fried and I’m standing right here.”

Another line I love: “Cause my life is falling apart/or is it getting better, I don’t know.”

Prettiest chorus I’ve heard…maybe ever? It’s from the song “Sleep” by The Embrace, a band from here in Tupelo. This is possibly the most comforting song I’ve heard, again, maybe ever. My world can feel like Vince is slap-chopping it to death, but I put this song on, and I feel so much better. Mostly because of these beautiful words: “Sleep sweet, my love/tomorrow’s a new day, a new day/my grace flows down/and rests by your side.”

Lyrics I love for absolutely NO reason at all: “We’ll turn your hissy fits into sissy hits.”

That’s from “1993” by Dananananaykroyd. I have absolutely no idea what that lyric means but it makes me haaaaaaaaaappy.

My favorite band for lyrics these days, besides The Decemberists, is Farewell Flight. This is the band that has the line “Sweet Jesus, where’d you go?” and they’ve used words like “morn” and “thrice,” so they know what they’re doing.

Some of my favorite Farewell Flight lines?

From “Over” – “I’m pushing you away/but I want you closer/Just a little bit closer/Don’t look at me that way.” (and, oh my, if you could hear how he says those words)
From “Destruction, Destruction” – “Is this love that I feel/Is this love when I/barely even know myself/tell me how could I know you?” 
From “Loch”
– “I know that I’m cursed/of all your sons I’m the worst/and when I’m faced with mirrors/I swear all I see’s a monster … place your hands on my chest/I’ve done my worst/Do your best.”
From “Slow” –
“And, oh my love is slowing/and love isn’t all knowing.”
Possibly my very favorite, from “Sailor’s Mouth/Dragons” – “All I need to set on fire is a spark/All I need to fall in love is a heart.” 

And the song that started this lyrical love, the one I mentioned earlier?

I just mentioned Farewell Flight, who I love, almost to a stalkery kind of level. A LONG while back I was searching MySpace for any and all reference to the band. I ran up on a MySpace page of Luke Foley, the band’s lead singer, and on this page was a song he called “The Ocean Black.” I..um…borrowed the song from the page and put it on my iPod (no worries, Luke; I’m helping pay for y’all’s new record once I get paid again) and something made me listen to this song again this weekend.

That line I love so much? “…if ever your sheets get lonely for me…”

The line is changed later in the song to say, “if ever your heart gets lonely for me.” The entire line, though, is: “The sea, the sea, I make my bed in the sea/if ever your sheets get lonely for me/Just sail a small slough to where the water is deep/Come slip beneath, come sleep with me.”

The black and white makes it seem, I don’t know, small. But if you hear the heartbreak and wanting and patience in Foley’s voice, you get it. It makes my heart melt every single time I hear it. (You can listen to this song here)

Again, these are just a Sunday night random sampling of song lyrics I love and that I’ve sang a little too much lately. I mean, I didn’t even go into the Decemberists’ lyrics…geez. Anyways. Share your recent favorites, if you feel so inclined. Or not, if youknowdon’t.

3 Responses to “words”

  1. sauer kraut September 14, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    Smashing Pumpkins… now, that was music.

  2. Jessi October 28, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    1. I recommend if you haven’t already, yes you….everyone(no one), to hook yourself up with some of The Weakerthans.

    This post was so awesome I died a little bit inside. In a good way. I would love to see much more music-delving by everyone in the world. It’s so interesting to see everyone else’s journeys through music, and what brings them to where they are, where they’re going with it. Kudos. To the extremely vivid max.

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