14 December 2010

Music Lesson

Oh, Lou- I'd like to let you know that I do not feel welcome.
All the birds, the trees, the falling snow
No they were not made for me.
And all this is where her heart resides; we met in California
She saw cities, promise reaching through my eyes
And she turned her self away
With the weather here being cold and wet, and conducive to keenly felt melancholy, I was all set to park myself at the keyboard this night and bang out a finely crafted paean to being adrift.  I made one mistake.  I listened to the song that produced the above lyrics.  The title is "That Western Skyline" by Dawes.  It a great song and a master class in rich, deep storytelling.  Yet they do it with an economy of means that leaves me astounded.  Like 'jaw-on-the-ground' astounded.  No, no, make that 'head-on-the-table' astounded.  This song had me in tears, face in my hands, because it was so heart-breakingly beautiful.

All because of one simple lyric.
Well how I curse that western skyline.
And yet I thanked it for my start.
Oh Lou, no my dreams did not come true; no they only came apart.
Oh, lawd...one line, twelve ordinary words...but what a punch.  How is this possible?  What is it they are channeling?  I have on occasion produced some powerful and provocative sentences (or at least I hope I have!), usually with bigger or more numerous words.  Yet I think I have only scratched the surface where Dawes has sunk a whole damn mineshaft into the broken heart.

The song revolves around that pithy gem.  The rest of the story speaks to leaving some important things behind in search of love, maybe home or even the 'who' a person used to be, only to find that love unrequited.  It is truly a hell of a thing to go that far out on a limb, only to discover it has been sawed off behind you.
So I followed her here to Birmingham, where the soil is so much richer
And though my aching pride might guide my hand, she did not ask for me to come.
So I wait for her all through the day, as if I wait for her surrender.
And every time I get her to look my way, she says I'm not where I belong.

But I watch her father preach on Sundays.
I know the hymnals all by heart.
But oh, Lou, no my dreams did not come true; no they only came apart.
I listened to the song three times in a row.  I could not tear myself away from it.

So I hope you understand that I could not bring myself to write the story I was going to write.  Not after that, no.  I reckon it will have to wait for another day, when the weather is better and I'm not sitting at the dining table and staring at the Christmas lights that illuminate my empty living room.  I need to meditate on stitching dreams back together, and that may take a while.

Listen and learn:


  1. Hi IG - ow, sorry you went/are going through that. Sending all of my best thoughts your way.

  2. Dreams. It seems that men have trouble enjoying a dream for its own sake. If a dream doesn't come true, it's not a failed dream. It's an enriching, rewarding dream, that served its own spiritual purpose. Love has a purpose, too, and it need not always be requited to serve its purpose.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...