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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   Bob Dylan's Birthday: Are Rock Lyrics Poetry? (243 comments)

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  •  It has a lot of soul to it. And it hits my (7+ / 0-)

    sweet spot - I'm always ready to explore the smudged gray horizon, balanced between a seaful of sorrow and a skyful of hope.

    I know what you mean, of course you hear the voice even when you read the words alone. There's a point to looking for the best lyrics. But the more I do it, the more I feel like I'm looking at black-and-white reproductions of great paintings. The music and the words were made to knit together. I guess the main value I'm finding here is, it's interesting to see how good different writers are at this one side of their art, and it's surprising that many words are better or worse than I'd ever have guessed, before I looked at them in silence.

    I have many favorite songs that live on that gray horizon. But this one, though quite unlike yours, seems somehow to respond to it: Here's David Sylvian, with Let the Happiness in.

    Thanks for stopping by, cfk, and have a good weekend.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Fri May 24, 2013 at 09:55:57 PM PDT

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    •  Love those gray horizons, too! (4+ / 0-)

      Their liminality opens great spaces for exploration.  Tom Waits' Cold, Cold Ground is a favorite of mine for that reason.  On their own, the lyrics paint a picture of ugly, isolationist deprivation, but Tom's genius is in setting them against a warm, sweet, "couples'-dancing" melody that argues with the words and creates that liminal space.   http://www.youtube.com/...

      Crest fallen sidekick in an old cafe
      never slept with a dream before he had to go away
      there's a bell in the tower
      Uncle Ray bought a round
      don't worry about the army
      in the cold cold ground
      now don't be a cry baby
      when there's wood in the shed
      there's a bird in the chimmney
      and a stone in my bed
      when the road's washed out
      they pass the bottle around
      and wait in the arms
      of the cold cold ground
      cold cold ground
      there's a ribbon in the willow
      and a tire swing rope
      and a briar patch of berries
      takin over the slope
      the cat'll sleep in the mailbox
      and we'll never go to town
      til we bury every dream in
      the cold cold ground
      cold cold ground
      gimme a Winchester rifle and a whole box of shells
      blow the roof off the goat barn
      let it roll down the hill
      the piano is firewood
      times square is a dream
      I find we'll lay down together in the cold cold ground
      cold cold ground
      cold cold ground
      call the cops on the Breedloves
      bring a bible and a rope
      and a whole box of rebel
      and a bar of soap
      make a pile of trunk tires
      and burn 'em all down
      bring a dollar with you baby
      in the cold cold ground
      cold cold ground
      take a weathervane rooster
      throw rocks at his head
      stop talking to the neighbors
      til we all go dead
      beware of my temper
      and the dog that I've found
      break all the windows in the
      cold cold ground
      cold cold ground
      •  What a lovely excursion! Yes, brutal lyrics with a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, Monsieur Georges

        lilting reel behind them. And such poetry:

        there's a ribbon in the willow
        and a tire swing rope
        and a briar patch of berries
        takin over the slope
        the cat'll sleep in the mailbox
        and we'll never go to town
        til we bury every dream in
        the cold cold ground
        Tom Waits is so prolific, he's hard to keep up with. I love how he started near the mainstream, and evolved so far from there. He took a wise left turn at Swordfishtrombones and never looked back; now he's invented a grid of his own.

        Thanks for the lyrics and the link - I enjoyed both with my morning coffee. Well, the first cup of it.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Sat May 25, 2013 at 09:45:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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