I don't know if it is true of anyone else, but I find that sometimes songwriters manage to write a wonderful story, all in the confines of a three or four minute song. It's a remarkable ability, and one I admire. Pair the song with a memorable tune, and you've got a winner that will remain in the common memory long after the artist is gone.
I was reminded of that this last weekend since I was posting on my own blog about the fortieth anniversary of Woodstock (no, I was not there, my mommy would not have let me go even if I was aware of such a thing... LOL) and posted Matthews Southern Comfort Band's rendition of Joni Mitchell's classic 'Woodstock'.
The last verse goes:
By the time we got to Woodstock/We were half a million strong/And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers/Riding shotgun in the sky/And they were turning into butterflies/Above our nation
We are stardust/Billion year old carbon/We are golden/Caught in the devil's bargain/And we've got to get ourselves/Back to the garden
Given what the US was going through then, the Vietnam War, the symbolry of bombers turning into butterflies is powerful. I only wish I could write like that, so pithy and yet so meaningful.
James Taylor is another of my favorite songwriters. In Carolina In My Mind, he talks about going home in a powerful way:
Dark and silent last night
I think I might have heard the highway calling
Geese in flight and dogs that bite
Signs that might be omens say I'm going, going
I'm goin to Carolina in my mind
Who hasn't heard the highway calling at some time in our lives?
So... I'd like to hear from all of you a snatch of lyrics that affect you, a song that feels like a story, anything you like about the music that calls out to you because of the words.