Friday, June 10, 2011

A Letter to Georgia

After seeing The Airborne Toxic Event in concert last fall as part of their acoustic tour (with the Calder Quartet backing them), this was my theme song for a while, and even now, when I get to this track on their live CD from their concert at Disney Hall, I have a tendency to hit repeat - again and again and again. That the entire song is about 2:45 on the recording (and a mere 2:33 below) is probably part of it, but so is the spooling feeling that it has, the gorgeous melodic and lyrical lines and, well, here:





This doubles as a Poetry Friday entry for me because of the lyrics, which work well as a poem. I'm especially fond of the final stanza, which is a litany of fears - all of which are pairs of opposites. The lyrics are written using rhyming couplets, with the occasional slant rhyme and one major exception in the first stanza. I haven't seen them written out in any document that comes from Mikel Jollett, the lead singer and song writer, or from The Airborne Toxic Event in general, so I've set it up in four stanzas with a wee coda, especially since the lyrics have a fluid way of flowing into one another. It's for that reason that I haven't really bothered with much in the way of punctuation - it's hard to know precisely where the author wanted it to fall.


A Letter to Georgia
by Mikel Jollett

How can I explain to you
the picture of this avenue
the rain falls on the street outside
my window on this Tuesday afternoon
I sit alone and sigh
the same four walls I've lived inside
so many lives I've lived and died
but none so much as the one I lived with you




I see you on the highway
a thousand miles away
rain falls through your hair and cheeks
your tears and mascara streaks
your face reflected in the glass
the lines on the pavement go past
just like the lines around your eyes
they held the weight of all these sad goodbyes

Everybody that I know
tells me just to let it go
You run from everything they say
you hurt the ones you love, like me
But here I sit and picture you
your fingers worn, your shirt torn through
Your heart so big and broken, too
your mind drifting through all you knew

Afraid to love, afraid to lose
afraid to stall, afraid to choose
afraid to live, afraid to die
afraid you'll let your day slip by
afraid you'll change or stay the same
afraid you'll lose yourself again
afraid of the truth: that love
can cause you so much pain

I've felt it too
I know, I know
Darlin' I wish it wasn't true


Seriously, is that not a gorgeous set of lyrics and, better still, a gorgeous song?


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