National Poetry Month – Day 23 – ‘ghost’

indigoI was introduced to the Indigo Girls sometime near the end of high school, and I’ve been in love with them ever since. The writing is wonderful, the music sublime and perfect, and the voices fit together in a way that draws the listener immediately into the experience of music. This is one of my favorite songs they do. I didn’t see a video I loved, so this one is simply not distracting – you can let yourself be pulled into the music, feel the words, and remember.

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Ghost

There’s a letter on the desktop that I dug out of a drawer
The last truce we ever came to
In our adolescent war
And I start to feel the fever
From the warm air through the screen
You come regular like seasons
Shadowing my dreams

And the Mississippi’s mighty
But it starts in Minnesota
At a place that you could walk across
With five steps down
And I guess that’s how you started
Like a pinprick to my heart
But at this point you rush right through me
And I start to drown

And there’s not enough room
In this world for my pain
Signals cross and love gets lost
And time passed makes it plain
Of all my demon spirits
I need you the most
I’m in love with your ghost
I’m in love with your ghost

Dark and dangerous like a secret
That gets whispered in a hush
(don’t tell a soul)
When I wake the things I dreamt about you
Last night make me blush
(don’t tell a soul)
And you kiss me like a lover
Then you sting me like a viper
I go follow to the river
Play your memory like a piper

And I feel it like a sickness
How this love is killing me
I’d walk into the fingers
Of your fire willingly
And dance the edge of sanity
I’ve never been this close
I’m in love with your ghost

Unknowing captor
You never know how much you
Pierce my spirit
But I can’t touch you
Can you hear it
A cry to be free
Oh I’m forever under lock and key
As you pass through me

Now I see your face before me
I would launch a thousand ships
To bring your heart back to my island
As the sand beneath me slips
As I burn up in your presence
And I know now how it feels
To be weakened like Achilles
With you always at my heels

This bitter pill I swallow
Is the silence that I keep
It poisons me I can’t swim free
The river is too deep
Though I’m baptized by your touch
I am no worse than most
In love with your ghost

You are shadowing my dreams
(In love with your ghost)
(In love with your ghost)
(In love with your ghost)

National Poetry Month – Day 16 – ‘great white bear’

dear readerThe band Dear Reader is a wonderful, wonderful band…this is one of my favorite songs that they perform, but many of their songs are brilliant – musically, lyrically, and vocally. This particular video is also quite lovely – I hope you enjoy it!

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Great White Bear

He climbed into the belly of the great white bear
It’s very sticky and it smells a little fishy
But no one will look for him there
He took a moment to pick his thoughts and make them clear

Oh, what a day it’s been
Oh, what a terrible state he’s in (x2)

Her eyes are wired, there’s a hat over her thick black hair
They’re racing through the snow
Their sweaty hands keep slipping
But they’re almost there
Her father’s shotgun ringing out now through the cold night air

Oh, what a fix they’re in
Oh, what a terrible sin
Oh, what a fix they’re in
Oh, what a terrible sinister game
The hunter did play
To give them the hope
That they could get away
When biding his time
He did wait down the line
To bring a disaster
On their youthful dreams of escape

Oh what a day it’s been
Oh what a day it’s been

Run, there’s a bullet in your back
Run, run, there’s a bullet in your back
Run, run, run, there’s a bullet in your back
But I wouldn’t take it back, I wouldn’t take it back
Run, run, run, there’s a bullet in your back
But I wouldn’t take it back, I wouldn’t take it back
Run, run, run, there’s a bullet in your back
But I wouldn’t take it back, I wouldn’t take it back
Run, run, run there’s a bullet in your back
And I want to take it back

I want to, want to
I want to, want you
I want you, want you
I want you, want you, want you, want you back

“Great White Bear” as written by Cherilyn Neilson Macneil, Darryl Torr / Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

If you liked that, here are a few others…
Down Under, Mining
Took Them Away

National Poetry Month – Day 9 – ‘Take Me To Church’

hozierIt is the second Thursday of April, which means a second song (and video) for National Poetry Month 2015. I’ve already said that I love music, I love lyrics, and I think that some of our best poetry is in the form of lyrics. I don’t know enough about this artist to comment about his writing in general, but this song grabbed me from the first time I heard it. I love everything about Take Me To Church, from his voice to the music, and the perfect melding of instrumentation with the content and emotion of the lyrics. A nearly perfect song, in my book.

You’ll find both the video and the lyrics below – and I hope you enjoy them!

View all of my National Poetry Month 2015 blog posts!

Take Me To Church

My lover’s got humour
She’s the giggle at a funeral
Knows everybody’s disapproval
I should’ve worshipped her sooner
If the Heavens ever did speak
She is the last true mouthpiece
Every Sunday’s getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week
‘We were born sick,’ you heard them say it
My church offers no absolutes
She tells me ‘worship in the bedroom’
The only heaven I’ll be sent to
Is when I’m alone with you
I was born sick, but I love it
Command me to be well
Amen. Amen. Amen

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

If I’m a pagan of the good times
My lover’s the sunlight
To keep the Goddess on my side
She demands a sacrifice
To drain the whole sea
Get something shiny
Something meaty for the main course
That’s a fine looking high horse
What you got in the stable?
We’ve a lot of starving faithful
That looks tasty
That looks plenty
This is hungry work

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

No masters or kings when the ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin
In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am human
Only then I am clean
Amen. Amen. Amen

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

lyrics by BYRNE, ANDREW HOZIER

National Poetry Month 2015 – Day 2 – R.E.M.

remEvery Thursday this month will be “music video day” on my blog, in honor of #npm15. Actually, it’s less about the videos themselves, and more about the songs that are being performed.

I put forward the opinion a few years ago that some of our best living poets are working in music, writing lyrics to the songs heard by dozens, or thousands, or even millions. Certainly there are many wonderful poets writing and publishing traditionally, but on the Thursdays of this National Poetry Month, I would like to draw a little attention to the poetry of music.

Michael Stipe, the lead singer and primary lyricist of the band R.E.M., is one of my favorite poets. I think the last song I posted by him was “At My Most Beautiful,” which I think is a superb example of his way with words. I didn’t want to re-post the same song again, so here is another of my favorites, from one of their best albums (if not the best, in my opinion).

The lyrics are pasted after the video…so read along (if you like) and enjoy.

View all of my National Poetry Month 2015 blog posts!

R.E.M.

Nightswimming

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night

The photograph on the dashboard taken years ago,
turned around backwards so the windshield shows.
Every street light reveals a picture in reverse
Still it’s so much clearer

I forgot my shirt at the water’s edge
The moon is low tonight

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
I’m not sure all these people understand
It’s not like years ago
The fear of getting caught
The recklessness in water
They cannot see me naked
These things they go away
Replaced by every day

Nightswimming,
remembering that night
September’s coming soon
I’m pining for the moon
And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit around the fairest sun?
The bright tide forever drawn
Could not describe nightswimming

You, I thought I knew you
You, I cannot judge
You, I thought you knew me
This one laughing quietly
Underneath my breath
Nightswimming

The photograph reflects
Every street light a reminder
Nightswimming
Deserves a quiet night
Deserves a quiet night

Writer(s): Bill Berry, Michael Stipe, Michael Mills, Peter Buck

don’t know why

I didn’t really have a plan for what to post on my blog today…since I’m not pressuring myself to post daily, I figured I probably wouldn’t post anything today. But then, in my car on the drive to work, I heard this song. It’s beautifully sung, wonderfully put together, and quite nicely written as well. I’ve loved Norah Jones’ voice for a long time, and this song has been a favorite of mine as well. If you’ve never heard her, then discover a new brilliance – and for those who know her, enjoy!

Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why

I waited ’til I saw the sun
I don’t know why I didn’t come
I left you by the house of fun
I don’t know why I didn’t come
I don’t know why I didn’t come

When I saw the break of day
I wished that I could fly away
Instead of kneeling in the sand
Catching teardrops in my hand

My heart is drenched in wine
But you’ll be on my mind
Forever

Out across the endless sea
I would die in ecstasy
But I’ll be a bag of bones
Driving down the road alone

My heart is drenched in wine
But you’ll be on my mind
Forever

Something has to make you run
I don’t know why I didn’t come
I feel as empty as a drum
I don’t know why I didn’t come
I don’t know why I didn’t come
I don’t know why I didn’t come

Okay, so I typed up this post and hadn’t posted it yet when I came upon another old favorite song of mine on Spotify…so I decided, “since this is a music video day…let’s have two!” Brilliant harmonies and instrumentation in this song.

Blind Melon – Mouthful of Cavities

Post by Matthew Jackson