Oh that’s right. I wanted to blog about lyrics, though I think I’ve written about a similar thing before, but anyway. The amount of new music I’ve been listening to lately has increased, thanks mainly to Guan and Karen who keep recommending wonderful things to me. Sometimes I can get into things right away and other times it will take a while.
But something I noticed with those albums that take a while to get me in, is when someone points out a particular lyric to me, it can make the song jump out. The song then becomes a hook on which to hang the rest of the album. Maybe it’s because I’ll be listening more intentionally. Maybe it’s because the lyric connects me to the person who told me about it. Or maybe it’s just because it’s a damn good way of stringing words together and I want to hear whether it was a fluke or whether the writer really does have a gift. It raises my already high esteem for fine songwriters, and shows up the shabbiness of the lazier pop songwriters even more.
I think the thing that kicked me off on this was talking with G about Joni Mitchell, and the song Little Green in particular.
- Just a little green
Like the colour when the spring is born
There’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow
Just a little green
Like the nights when the northern lights perform
There’ll be icicles and birthday clothes and sometimes there’ll be sorrow
The whole song is gorgeous. It speaks of childhood and relationships and sadness and parenthood and it’s simple and lovely. It reminds me of Kristen, my singing teacher from back in my early 20s, who taught me a lot and whose voice sounded “sweet as Tupelo honey”.
What are some of your favourite lyrics? And why?