Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2 great song lyrics that inspire

I’m often inspired by great song lyrics that help tell a story.

One of my favorites is "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" which first appeared on The Beatles’ 1965 album Rubber Soul.

"I once had a girl,
or should I say, she once had me."

It is one of several songs on the album referring to an antagonistic relationship with a woman. When asked about the meaning of the lyrics, producer George Martin answered, “My wife is going to give me a hard time for saying this. It was one of John's indiscretions. I remember we were sitting at the veranda outside our hotel rooms in St. Moritz and John was playing at his guitar and working out the text. He felt that Cynthia had tricked him to marry her.” Martin referred to the words as "a very bitter little story."

The song is a lilting acoustic ballad featuring Lennon's lead vocal, signature McCartney harmonies in the middle, as well as the first use of the sitar by a rock band, of course played by George Harrison. The exotic instrumentation and oblique lyric represented one of the first indications to fans of the expanding musical storytelling and experimental approach the group was adopting.

Another favorite song lyric is from Jackson Browne’s “Fountain of Sorrow.” He writes in the opening line,

“Looking through some photographs I found inside a drawer,
I was taken by a photograph of you.”

In both these examples, it’s the twist of the meaning and perspective that makes the lyric so memorable.

4 comments:

melanie said...

brief bus stop by ani difranco

she sat there like a photograph
of someone much further away
we shared a brief bus stop
on one of those inbetween days
she gave me her smile
and I looked underneath
at the lipstick on her teeth

she asked me for a light
and if I thought her hair looked okay
we grew out of the small talk
into stuff strangers just don't say
we discovered we are both
pleasently furious half of the time
when we're not just toeing the line

we sat underneath the shelter
as the rain came down outside
the bench was cold
against the underside of our thighs
I said I think we need new responses
each question's a revolving door
and she said, yeah,
my life may not be something special
but it's never been lived before

we decided our urgency will wane
when we grow old
and there will be a new generation of anger
new stories to be told
but I said, I don't know if I can wait
for that peace to be mine
and she said, well, you know,
we've been waiting for this bus
for an awfully long time

melanie said...

in a cave by tokyo police club

I threw darts at a spinning globe
Swapping out passport photos
I walk west to the setting sun
Every single step I grow another second young

All my hair grows in
Wrinkles leave my skin
Hold still
Don't fade
I'll be back again when the tide is in
Someday

melanie said...

caring is creepy by the shins

"It's a luscious mix of words and tricks
That let us bet when you know we should've folded"

Mark Stinson said...

Fireflies by Owl City


You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep

'Cause they'd fill the open air
And leave teardrops everywhere
You'd think me rude
But I would just stand and stare

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems

'Cause I'd get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach me how to dance

A foxtrot above my head
A sock hop beneath my bed
A disco ball is just hanging by a thread

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

Leave my door open just a crack
(Please take me away from here)
'Cause I feel like such an insomniac
(Please take me away from here)
Why do I tire of counting sheep
(Please take me away from here)
When I'm far too tired to fall asleep

To ten million fireflies
I'm weird 'cause I hate goodbyes
I got misty eyes as they said farewell

But I'll know where several are
If my dreams get real bizarre
'Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
Because my dreams are bursting at the seams