Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Music to my ears

Love list # 6, 7, 8 & 9

#6 - Well Written Lyrics

     While I have been told I have a way with words, I am often in awe of those who I feel do it far better than me. Namely, songwriters. Not only do they have to be clever and inventive with their word choice and usage, but they also have to do to music. Having never taken more than a year of recorder lessons in elementary school and a handful of keyboarding classes (before I begged my mom to let me quit), I am not all that talented with music. Sure, I can sing but even reading sheet music is a struggle. Being that I do love a talented twist of the tongue, I find myself often jotting down lyrics that strike me and inspire me. They are commonly used as blog titles too, and journal entry titles in my personal journal too.

     After a while of collecting these lyrics, I found myself wanting to keep them all together, for reflecting and for picking through for said blog titles. I currently have over 22 pages in a notebook of sweet, snarky and silly lines that inspire me.

   Here are some of my favorites:
"I wish I was a fine wine, I wish I were a good drug"

"Don't breathe too deep, don't think all day"

"Saying 'I love you' has nothing to do with meaning it"

"Everybody's favorite girl doesn't fake it anymore"

"Better off, I sparkle on my own."

"The edge of your sword isn't sharp enough for me to bleed"

"This is me before I fall apart"

"You and your glance makes this romance too hot to handle"

"If I wasn't so happy, I wouldn't be so scared of dying"

"If I looked out a different window, would the snow still fall as beautiful?"

"We all need a pantomime to remind us what is real"

    Of course, the words hold only so much weight when they aren't backed by the musical orchestrations and vocal power used to convey them.  The following are two of my favorite groups, who's music are both getting me through a lot of rough spots these days and their lyrics fill the pages of that notebook.

# 7 SheDaisy

    I have been following this trio of sisters since their very first album in 1999. While on our Senior trip to Orlando, we discovered that they were playing in Disney World and my friend Aja and I went to see them perform. It was a tiny venue and there was only a small crowd of people there for the relatively unknown group at the time. Still, it was one of the best nights of my life. Krysten, the oldest sister, pens all of their songs and her sharp, witty take on life always makes me smile.

   Some of my favorites of their lyrics:

"Seductive highs, destructive lows"

"I've become accustomed to wearing nothing but pink nail polish on my left hand"

"So why are you scared of this villianous word 'love'?"

"Won't let you unnerve me, won't let you deserve me, even if I kiss the dirt, you're gonna see that I don't hurt"

"If true love really does exist,  it would feel as pure as this"

"Sometimes I need a broken bone to remind me how to feel"

"I'm beautiful on an empty page."

"I'm good when I'm out of sight, best when I'm out of my mind"

"I am still on my second cup of pity me"

"I'm the green, green grass as far as your big brown eyes can see."  

    I had the great fortune of seeing them again a few summers ago, when they filled in last minute at the Clark County fair. Sarah and I sat maybe ten rows back - perfect for snapping a few pictures of them as they performed some of my favorites.

#8 Sugarland

     So they have totally swept the nation and charmed their way onto hundreds of radio stations; they totally deserve it. Sugarland's combination of infectious tunes and brilliant lyrics that hit the heart at just the right angle keep them on constant repeat on my iPod and in my car too. I am not going to hide the fact that more than just a tiny part of me looks up to lead singer Jennifer Nettles. She is just as charismatic as their music and her stage presence is incredible.

     I have found many moments of strength over the years from their lyrics as well.

"Slow to trust, but quick to love. I push too hard and I give too much. I ain't saying I'm perfect, but I promise I'm worth it."

"We all live with the scars we choose"

"With some good red wine and my brand new shoes, gonna dance a blue streak around my living room. Take a chance on love and find what it means to be the girl who changed her mind and changed the world"

"Swinging stars from satillites"

"Wrap your fingers and hold on tight, I'll be right here beside you tonight"

"Pictures, dishes and socks; its our whole life down to one box"

    Much like with Shedaisy, I have had the great fortune to see Sugarland perform live. This past summer, Kate and I went to see them out at Edgefield, and though it was insanely hot that night, it was an amazing night.

#9 Holly Williams

    Last, but not least is Holly Williams, who coincidentally opened for Sugarland at that concert this past July. I didn't even know Holly would be there and I was greatly surprised to hear her as Kate and I nestled into a tiny corner of grass we found before the stage. Holly is the granddaughter of Hank Williams and while she has strong country roots, her music definitely has it's own feel. I often refer to my friend Aja as one of my music gurus, because she is always introducing me to artists (see Howie Day, Meiko, Graham Colton, Guster, etc) but for once, I was able to introduce her to an amazing artist in Holly.

    There are a number of years between her first and second album, mostly because of  serious car accident she and her sister were in a few years back. Sadly, I have not fallen as madly in love with her second album as I did the first, but I hold out that she will turn out a stronger third album in a year or two.

    However, her way with words and her ability to paint a picture is brilliant:

"Where would you be if you had tried, if you had given all you could to the passion of your life?"

"It's a long way we've come just to simply exist like this"

"It scares me like my deepest confession"

"Black and pink and white, these are colors that remind me of the night we fell on your steps and wished for all our lives to be filled with such freedom"

"Devil unseen, please stop bothering me, I've got a broken man to repair"

"The victim of my youth, the solider of my dread"

    I could easily go on and on, and if anyone is still reading at this point, I thank you. If you can stomach country music (because I know not everyone can) I encourage you to look into these artists. These are just the tips of their iceburgs and they are all worthy of a good listen. But if you aren't into the twang, just take a good long listen to the songs you love and perhaps jot down a few lines. They all say something about who we are and why we listen as we do.

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