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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   Bob Dylan's Birthday: Are Rock Lyrics Poetry? (243 comments)

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  •  I realize (6+ / 0-)

    that sometimes the songs I love are not great poetry and that the singer has been panned, but having said that...

    Of course, I hear the voice and the way it was delivered as I put the song down.  Pure nostalgia on my part.

    The song version has different words:

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    The poem:

    Listen to the Warm

    By Rod McKuen

    I live alone.
    It hasn't always been that way.
    It's nice sometimes
                to open up the heart a little
    and let some hurt come in.
    It proves you're still alive.

    I'm not sure what it means.
    Why we cannot shake the old loves from out minds.
    It must be that we build on memory
    and make them more that what they were.
                         And is the manufacture
    just a safe device for closing up the wall?

    I do remember.
    The only fuzzy circumstance
    is something where-and how.
    Why, I know.
    It happens just because we need
    to want and to be wanted too,
    when love is here  or gone
    to lie down in the darkness
                           and listen to the warm.

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    by cfk on Fri May 24, 2013 at 08:47:04 PM PDT

    •  Sorry! No wonder the words are different (6+ / 0-)

      Here is the correct song to the words above...there are two versions of Listen to the Warm.

      I do like the other one, too.

      http://www.youtube.com/...

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Fri May 24, 2013 at 08:51:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It has a lot of soul to it. And it hits my (7+ / 0-)

        sweet spot - I'm always ready to explore the smudged gray horizon, balanced between a seaful of sorrow and a skyful of hope.

        I know what you mean, of course you hear the voice even when you read the words alone. There's a point to looking for the best lyrics. But the more I do it, the more I feel like I'm looking at black-and-white reproductions of great paintings. The music and the words were made to knit together. I guess the main value I'm finding here is, it's interesting to see how good different writers are at this one side of their art, and it's surprising that many words are better or worse than I'd ever have guessed, before I looked at them in silence.

        I have many favorite songs that live on that gray horizon. But this one, though quite unlike yours, seems somehow to respond to it: Here's David Sylvian, with Let the Happiness in.

        Thanks for stopping by, cfk, and have a good weekend.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Fri May 24, 2013 at 09:55:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Love those gray horizons, too! (4+ / 0-)

          Their liminality opens great spaces for exploration.  Tom Waits' Cold, Cold Ground is a favorite of mine for that reason.  On their own, the lyrics paint a picture of ugly, isolationist deprivation, but Tom's genius is in setting them against a warm, sweet, "couples'-dancing" melody that argues with the words and creates that liminal space.   http://www.youtube.com/...

          Crest fallen sidekick in an old cafe
          never slept with a dream before he had to go away
          there's a bell in the tower
          Uncle Ray bought a round
          don't worry about the army
          in the cold cold ground
          now don't be a cry baby
          when there's wood in the shed
          there's a bird in the chimmney
          and a stone in my bed
          when the road's washed out
          they pass the bottle around
          and wait in the arms
          of the cold cold ground
          cold cold ground
          there's a ribbon in the willow
          and a tire swing rope
          and a briar patch of berries
          takin over the slope
          the cat'll sleep in the mailbox
          and we'll never go to town
          til we bury every dream in
          the cold cold ground
          cold cold ground
          gimme a Winchester rifle and a whole box of shells
          blow the roof off the goat barn
          let it roll down the hill
          the piano is firewood
          times square is a dream
          I find we'll lay down together in the cold cold ground
          cold cold ground
          cold cold ground
          call the cops on the Breedloves
          bring a bible and a rope
          and a whole box of rebel
          and a bar of soap
          make a pile of trunk tires
          and burn 'em all down
          bring a dollar with you baby
          in the cold cold ground
          cold cold ground
          take a weathervane rooster
          throw rocks at his head
          stop talking to the neighbors
          til we all go dead
          beware of my temper
          and the dog that I've found
          break all the windows in the
          cold cold ground
          cold cold ground
          •  What a lovely excursion! Yes, brutal lyrics with a (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest, Monsieur Georges

            lilting reel behind them. And such poetry:

            there's a ribbon in the willow
            and a tire swing rope
            and a briar patch of berries
            takin over the slope
            the cat'll sleep in the mailbox
            and we'll never go to town
            til we bury every dream in
            the cold cold ground
            Tom Waits is so prolific, he's hard to keep up with. I love how he started near the mainstream, and evolved so far from there. He took a wise left turn at Swordfishtrombones and never looked back; now he's invented a grid of his own.

            Thanks for the lyrics and the link - I enjoyed both with my morning coffee. Well, the first cup of it.

            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

            by Brecht on Sat May 25, 2013 at 09:45:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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