Last weekend while Scott & I were driving home from Atlanta, I took the opportunity to play what I refer to as " iPod Jukebox." We rocked out to Van Halen & Nickelback, chilled to some Michael Buble and Harry Connick, Jr., got our twang on with George Strait and Vince Gill, and officially welcomed the warmer weather with our outdoor favorites, The Beach Boys, the Beatles, and The Temptations. Just before pulling into town I switched over to Duran Duran, both their old school stuff and their latest release. As a kid I was obsessed with their tune, "The Reflex," and was pretty much doing a great (in my own mind, that is!) karaoke version of it, while Scotty kept his eyes on the road, wishing I'd return to King George so that he could give his own performance. There's a line in "The Reflex" that goes, "I'm on a ride and I wanna get off..." I told Scotty, "You know for Simon Le Bon and company, that's a pretty deep lyric." Obviously he did not want to dissect the lyricisim of Duran Duran because he pretty much ignored me...and said, "Hey, go back to George Strait--we're almost home!"
All last week various songs popped into my head. This is not a new trend, as music is a central part of my world. (Until my pastor preached on solitude and quietness this morning--thanks, Rusty--now I'll feel guilty all week!) Yet this time, I specifically thought of songs containing lyrics that just slay me...or prompt my brain to work on overtime...or move me to smiles or tears. I've often said that there are some songs so deep I just want to dive in for a while...tread water 'til I've gotten my fill of brilliant words penned to music. I admire songwriters and poets. Imagine a world without music, novels, screenplays, stage productions, sitcoms. Yeah, it'd be pretty bland and boring, and when have those two adjectives ever met with glowing reviews?
Here's a short list (hooray--another list--y'all know me and lists!) of lyrics that I really dig, for various reasons. Dive in...tread water...see what you think.
"Are you drowning or waving?" from Bush's "Out of this World." Tell me this doesn't paint a picture for ya and I'll call you bonkers to your face. It's so deep I can't even go into it...
"I'm the chill that never left your spine..." from Quarterflash's "Take Me to Heart." A brutal reminder...yeah, you may have moved on, but don't ever think for a moment that I'm far from your mind.
"Kiss me, please kiss me...kiss me out of desire, babe, and not consolation..." from "Last Goodbye" by Jeff Buckley. It's the pleading that gets me...begging for smoochies freely given, rather than offered as a parting prize. Plus this is just a darn fine piece of musical genius, by that lyrical genius himself, Mr. Buckley...may he rest in peace.
"High time we made a stand and shook up the views of the common man..." from "Sowing the Seeds of Love" by Tears for Fears. Political ramblings aside (the basis for the entire song, that is), I love this song, particularly the opening lyric. I like the thought of rocking the views of the average soul...like saying, "Evolution is whack!" Because, you know, I am not afraid of controversy.
"My words are paper tigers, no match for the predator of pain inside her..." from "Love Will Come to You," by the Indigo Girls. At the age of 17, I was completely convinced that every song written by Amy Ray & Emily Saliers directly related to my angst in some form or fashion. These girls are poets in the purest sense. While I don't respect their lifestyle preferences, I still maintain my fan status. I mean, come on..."my words are paper tigers?" That's just good, y'all. Mull it over a while.
"A rock feels no pain..and an island never cries." from my all-time faves, Simon & Garfunkel, in "I Am A Rock." One line from an entire song of brilliance...oh, the pain...the solitude...the agony. "If I never loved I never would've cried." How many times have we all said this at some point in our lives?
"Wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door...who is it for?" The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby. As a kid this lyric haunted me. A face in a jar? And you know I immediately thought of it upon first viewing of Silence of the Lambs! When I got old enough to get it, I got it. Another loneliness reference...gee, notice a theme here? I must've had issues with self-imposed solitude or something. Thanks, Scotty, for taking that away.
"You hold the percentage, but I'm the fool paying the dues..." from "Hold Me" by Fleetwood Mac. A love song fully devoid of sap and cheese, "Hold Me" is tongue-in-cheek and lighthearted. And this particular lyric? Hilarious.
"If confession is the road to healing, forgiveness is the promised land." from DC Talk's "Between You and Me." Honestly, one of the most beautiful, profound, and truthful pieces of songwriting. Ever. The men of DC Talk (who no longer perform together, but are each charting solo--and I await the day we'll see the trio reunited!) are, in my opinion, the most talented to ever roam the halls of the World's Most Exciting Christian University. (Do you even have to ask? Yeesh, ok...Liberty University, my alma mater, of course!) Everytime I hear the song I can barely make it past this particular lyric...because they're singing about a promise I don't deserve. But the Truth of it is what makes me grateful I've received it. Now I'm off to wade in this one some more.
These are just some of the specific lyrics I mulled over the past few days. There are many more, of course...but this is already longer than intended, so I'll hush soon!
Here's some homework for y'all; I'm interested in YOUR thoughts on this subject matter. Send me lines from songs that slay you, create deep thoughts, or just make you happy, for whatever reason. I love, love, love music...all kinds...and I love, love, love talking about it. Maybe we should all just gather 'round our computers, Coca-Colas in hand, while gushing, "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony..." Or we could at least have a campfire sing-a-long..."Kumbaya," anyone?
Finally, I close with one of my favorite lyrics of all time. It's crass, obnoxious, and true on many levels. And right about now, Scott & Suzanne are nodding their heads in mild horror and complete approval: from "Yeah!" by Usher, Lil' John and Ludacris...
"We want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed!"