|John Prine in 2012 (www.eventfinda.com)|
But I do think that certain song lyrics raise themselves above the norm and can work as poetic verse alone. The obvious candidates are Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen but sometimes a song's lyrics can be deceptively simple. All this pre-amble is leading to this, the opening verse and chorus of Jon Prine's Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness:
You come home late and you come home early.
You come on big when you're feeling small.
You come home straight and you come home curly.
Sometimes you don't come home at all.
So what in the world's come over you?
What in heaven's name have you done?
You've broken the speed of the sound of loneliness.
You're out there running just to be on the run.
Perhaps read the words a few times then listen here.
I especially like the internal rhyming that matches the first and third lines. Simple lyrics that work like these are very hard to write.
Consider these lyrics too:
Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.
That's from Dylan's Mr Tambourine Man of course.
These are from Cole Porter's Every Time You Say Goodbye:
Every time we say goodbye, I die a little,
Every time we say goodbye, I wonder why a little,
Why the Gods above me, who must be in the know.
Think so little of me, they allow you to go.
When you're near, there's such an air of spring about it,
I can hear a lark somewhere, begin to sing about it,
There's no love song finer, but how strange the change from major to minor,
Every time we say goodbye.
I could go on and on and maybe there will be a part two of this post but I'd love to hear about your favourite song lyrics if you feel that they can stand alone.....