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THIS is a Song with Lyrics Worth Listening To

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
In response to another current thread, I want to propose a new one that entails something a little bit new.

We've had lots of threads (good ones -- just search) in which members have named a song with lyrics they've been smitten by, and then they've given a full reprint of said lyrics, with the artist's name. That's been the deal: 'these are cool lyrics because I like 'em and now you can read them.'

I want to try something new. I propose that we give a single song or vocal piece -- identifying the artist, lp or music source, and title of the track. Don't print out all the lyrics! Instead, give a short explanation of why you believe the lyrics are good, meaningful, or add something great to the music.

I hope that if we something that somebody else likes that sounds interesting, we'll seek out the track and hear for ourselves.

Just give one song rather than a list of twenty. Don't print out the lyrics. Tell why this is the song you want everybody else to go get.

I've gotten to be a bit of a fogey, so I'll try to name something that's one a few years' recent. I'll be keen to see if there are other things out there I ought to check out (I get sceptical about the existence of good lyrics in new music).

My pick today is "Legs of Bees" from The Fruit Bats' last summer's lp Spelled in Bones. I think it's a classic bit of summer pop lyricism. It's about summer being a season that's primed and panting for reproduction, sex, passion, new love. But even though the bees are geared up to start pollinating and the lovers are languorously lying about waiting to get it on, nothing's happening yet -- every thing and everybody's still waiting for the sign to begin. Writer/singer Eric Johnson ends up yelling out his refrain of excitement and frustration, that he and everything else is sick of waiting around for the sign to get started -- 'cause we've all been fooled before. It's a memorable, well-written pop anthem for June.
post #2 of 9
I wanted to get around to responding in this thread sooner but I've been busy with getting more familiar with the song lyrics for this Fruit Bats song and other things. I like the idea you propose of actually listening to the song and not just reading the lyrics. Although I have to admit I wanted to listen to the song more based on the suggestion that it had good lyrics more so than from the description of the lyrics (I just love finding good lyrics) but maybe this is something I'm not used to yet.

This is a good song by The Fruit Bats and I've actually been meaning to check them out some more. I decided not to search for the lyrics to this song and instead try and decipher them while listening but honestly I did find it a bit hard to understand what he was saying while listening. One good thing about doing it this way though is that you kind of give the music more of a chance to open up to you through repeated listening. That is unless the song is easy to understand from the start.

I didn't make out all the lyrics but I got enough to realize he was creating a nice summery scene, there was a lot of Springtime/Summer imagery. The way he uses the tension of the lyrics in the chorus against the imagery in the verse fits the song structure as the verses are more mellow than the chorus. I agree that it is a nice June anthem. I'm still working out all the lyrics though so this is sort of mid-review.



I thought I'd make a suggestion as well and there was something from you're post that was part of the reason for seeking the song out:
Quote:
(I get sceptical about the existence of good lyrics in new music).
I wanted to try and suggest some songs that I enjoy the music and lyrics to from current bands (I'll do more than one if I have to).

I'll pick the song "Tears for Affairs" by Camera Obscura from the album Let's Get Out of This Country. My take on the lyrics is that it's about a girl who's interested more in taking chances but has trouble dealing with the consequences. It reminds me of someone who has a bit of a dark side that makes them feel powerful but always forgets how fragile they really are. The music in the song is great as well, it's a good indie pop song with a bit of bossa nova flavor in it I think, and it sounds like they use an accordian in it! Camera Obscura is kind of a well-rounded band, good music, not badly recorded for an indie band as far as I can tell, and good lyrics.
post #3 of 9
Konstantine by Something Corporate. It's not on an studio album.

Just amazing the energy and emotion behing it. I think most people can relate to it. Not to mention he makes a lot of small references that take some research to figure out what he's talking about. Absolutely phenomenal live! great stuff!
post #4 of 9
Nice thread. I could go with anything by Colin Hay, but I'll go with Waiting for My Real Life to Begin from the Man @ Work album (I believe it may be on another of his albums as well.

Just a great song about waiting and not doing. The verse is "But don't you understand - I already have a plan - I'm waiting for my real life to begin." Best line - "When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened - But in my dreams, I slew the dragon"

Reminds me a little of the John Lennon quote "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans."
post #5 of 9
I am torn between suggesting a recent favorite by Protest the Hero and an old favorite by Pedro the Lion. But I'll go with what's more fresh in my mind.

The song "Blindfolds Aside" is the third scene in the second act of a "staged album" by Protest the Hero called Kezia. The story is about a girl, named Kezia, who is sentenced to death, and each of the three acts is from a different point of view: first, the prison priest, second the prison guard, and third, Kezia herself.

In Blindfolds Aside the prison guard is making his closing statements about his viewpoint on his job and Kezia. He has come to know Kezia well because he has spent so much time watching over her. And he weighs in his mind in this song how he worries for his future being in charge of a woman's life. He feels like the burden is his and he feels it down to his heart. But in the end he realizes that it is this job that he has chosen, and that it is Kezia's mistakes that he eventually supports himself on:

"...a sin I didn't care for, but a sin that paid my debts
A sin that fed my children and burned my smiles and cigarettes."

Beautiful. The whole album is written very well lyrically and musically too.

Edit: I left out one important aspect of the idea of the "prison guard." In the story he is standing with his rifle loaded waiting to join with his fellow guards in a firing squad.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm really digging these responses, and I hope they keep coming. I'm especially pleased that respondents are focusing on why they like the lyrics they're praising. I'm also getting agitated by recommendations for new bands and albums I don't know. That's really constructive -- getting a fogey like me to start reaching for the wallet to try something new.

But all this youthful optimism makes me feel vengeful too. I may start up a response about lesser-known old song with great lyrics. But until then, I'm enjoying all the comments!
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by catachresis View Post
I'm really digging these responses, and I hope they keep coming. I'm especially pleased that respondents are focusing on why they like the lyrics they're praising. I'm also getting agitated by recommendations for new bands and albums I don't know. That's really constructive -- getting a fogey like me to start reaching for the wallet to try something new.
I found Camera Obscura's European label's website and they have a video for the song Tears For Affairs (there's also some other good ones on there like If Looks Could Kill). That way you can give this song a try before buying the album if that's what you wanted to do. Elafant Records

Quote:
But all this youthful optimism makes me feel vengeful too. I may start up a response about lesser-known old song with great lyrics. But until then, I'm enjoying all the comments!
That sounds great, I'd love to hear some of it.


This idea is working great for me, I've been listening to these songs more so than I would've had someone just posted the lyrics or recommended the music. The only song I haven't heard yet is Bjornboy81's suggestion because I haven't come across it anywhere yet. Denver Max, it's been awhile since I listened to anything along the lines of metal since I've been into the indie pop genre mostly as of recent years, but it's good to get a cool suggestion to check out and go in that direction. I'm going to have to take the time and listen to the whole album since it's a "staged album" which is a pretty cool idea. They seem like they're trying to make music on a level above others. And NightEcho wow, what a great song by Colin Hay, the music and the lyrics are both excellent. I should've known he would have a great song like that.
post #8 of 9
"Last Seen October 9th" by Eleanor McEvoy, off her Yola album.

Story about a lost child. Brings me near to tears every time I hear it....and I give my 8-year old son an extra hug each time.
post #9 of 9
I've been thinking about this thread for a few days. I'm more than a bit of a fogey myself. I've always been drawn to lyrics but I've become somewhat disenchanted with the quality of most popular music lyrics as I've grown older. In fact, many songs that I dismissed as trivial and superficial when I was younger I enjoy more now because they don't overreach. On the other hand, many of the songs that I enjoyed in my youth sound pompous and hollow to my aging ears.

So I'll suggest David Sylvian's new band, Nine Horses and the lyrics from their Snow Born Sorrow album. If forced to pick one song, I'll pick "History of Holes." I've always been drawn to melancholy lyrics and Sylvian here is writing the music of reinventing his life after his divorce - dealing with his kids, his wife and his career. And though I'm not divorced, these are strains and stresses that I understand in my forties. While lyrics about being dumped by the prom queen have a nostalgic appeal, they don't resonate with the same depth.

God bless amnesia
And the things I've suppressed
I can reframe the image
I can discard the rest

A history of holes
Where the pieces that won't fit
With the story you told yourself
And your place in it

And I fear that it isn't enough
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