Saturday, January 2, 2010

so i lied

so i failed many an attempt to be creative over break because i'm

a) lazy
b) uninspired
c) clouded by crap in my brain

so...i still wanted to write about stuff. i think it's worth it for my own personal interest to continue with my songs idea stuff for my own personal way of logging things about the way i think about music and what not. so here goes. the entries won't be chronological anymore, just whatever i'm moved to write about at a particular juncture, so it'll probably involve more songs that i'm particularly in touch with currently.

i started listening to sufjan stevens a lot during my junior year of college, ironically when i started becoming more cynical about life. maybe that's why i listened to the song about the biblical apocalypse ("Seven Swans", maybe i'll write about that next) on repeat when i was studying for tests (other than the fact that i just listen to music on repeat).

the first song i ever listened to was off his Illinois album was "Predatory Wasp of the Palisades". at first i wasn't too particularly excited about this song, because the style was not anything really i was used to listening at the time. but giving the song another listen or two, after listening to more of his other stuff, made me realize that sufjan stevens is a genius.

you can listen to it here.

here are the lyrics:

Thinking outrageously, I write in cursive
I hide in my bed with the lights on the floor
Wearing three layers of coats and leg warmers
I see my own breath on the face of the door

Oh, I am not quite sleeping
Oh, I am fast in bed
There on the wall in the bedroom creeping
I see a wasp with her wings outstretched

North of Savanna we swim in the Palisades
I come out wearing my brother's red hat
There on his shoulder my best friend is bit seven times
He runs washing his face in his hands

Oh, how I meant to tease him
Oh, how I meant no harm
Touching his back with my hand, I kiss him
I see the wasp on the length of my arm

Oh, how I meant to tease him
Oh, how I meant no harm
Touching his back with my hand, I kiss him
I see the wasp on the length of my arm

Oh great sights upon this state, hallelujah
Wonders bright, and rivers, lake, hallelujah
Trail of Tears and Horseshoe Lake, hallelujah
Trusting things beyond mistake, hallelujah

We were in love, we were in love
Palisades, Palisades
I can wait, I can wait

I can't explain the state that I'm in
The state of my heart, he was my best friend
Into the car, from the backseat
Oh, admiration in falling asleep
All of my powers, day after day
I can tell you, we swaggered and swayed
Deep in the tower, the prairies below
I can tell you, the telling gets old
Terrible sting and terrible storm
I can tell you the day we were born
My friend is gone, he ran away
I can tell you, I love him each day
Though we have sparred, wrestled and raged
I can tell you, I love him each day
Terrible sting and terrible storm
I can tell you

although soothing at first, this is not a song that can really be listened to casually, it's more like an experience as stevens takes you through a moment of time in childhood, showing his vulnerability in describing his friendship. he captures the very essence of the purity and enjoyment of untarnished friendship in a simple camping story.

stevens mixes times in different parts of the song gives the song a waltzy, dance like feel. it makes it seem like the moment he does talk about is ephemeral, hard to truly capture again completely, giving it a potent sense of nostalgia.

songs like this remind me of my constant struggle to fight for this lost innocence and to try to fit my world in this hopelessly optimistic box, like a wannabe holden caulfield. everyone wants time to freeze in these moments where nothing is judged and it's easy to love and be loved. maybe one day we'll all get there again someday.

1 comment:

janet said...

you forgot how you were inspired to write songs by me, like everything else you do in your life.