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The Poetry of Music

No, the title is not a metaphor.  I literally would like to highlight some of the poetry that can be found in some of the lyrics of music.  Its easy to forget that the most abundant and accessible form of poetry for the vast majority of us is music.  Its probably worth paying attention to.  This is one of my favorites, and I hope to have more to come.  If anyone has suggestions of great poetry in music, I would love to hear it.

Nightingale / December song
By Spencer Krug (of the band Sunset Rubdown)

So let me hammer this point home: I see us all as lonely fires that have burned alive as long as we remember. But like all fireworks and all sunsets, we all burn in different ways: You are a fast explosion, and I am the embers. And though your flames are quick and mean, they will not last the year, but expire like a sudden falling star, that only nightingales had seen, before migrating to southern jungles. And in this way you will come find me in December.

He said he’d like to move to Nashville to master the guitar, where he would live a single day the way I live a single year. He covered his body in mud, went hunting for the sun, and then went swimming in a lake of holy water. You are too hot for me. I am too slow for you. You are a fast explosion and I am the embers. You need the one who slowly burns, and burns to stay alive. In this way you will come find me in December.

So let me hammer this point home: I see us all as lonely fires that have burned alive as long as we remember. But like all sacrificial virgins, we all burn in different ways: You are a fast explosion, and I am the embers. And though your flames are quick and mean, they will not last the year, but expire like a sudden shooting star, that only nightingales had seen, before transforming into bluebirds. And in this way you will come find me in December.

2 Responses to “The Poetry of Music”

  1. Colin Says:

    That’s a beautiful prose poem you happened across. I tend to think Caroline Smith, of Minnesota, has some good poetry in her songs. Check out “She Ain’t Got It” for this gem of a metaphor:

    Perfect orange peeler, peel another orange for me.
    Perfect orange peeler, peel another orange for me.
    Skin spiraling, so perfectly, curl in one piece.
    Skin spiraling, so perfectly, is how you peeled me.

  2. Jacob Schlabach Says:

    Very nice. Curl in one piece has to be my favorite part of that image, it really fills out the image simply and effectively. Would there be a Caroline Smith song that you think is outstanding in its entirety, and worth looking into? Maybe this song, maybe another?

    Its funny, knowing this song more in song form than on paper, I was actually really surprised that the Sunset Rubdown song was a prose poem. It has some repetition, echoes and rhymes that I had always imagined as indicating a verse structure. Not so, once I actually looked it up.

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