Monday, November 29, 2010

There probably aren't any lyricists out there that are as skilled as Joanna. She is ridiculously good. A genuine poet. Check out the final verse from "Baby Birch", a song I interpret to be an ode for all women who are denied motherhood in one form or another:

"There is a blacksmith, and there is a shepherd, and there is a butcher boy, and there is a barber who's cutting and cutting away at my only joy. I saw a rabbit as slick as a knife and as pale as a candlestick. And I had thought it'd be harder to do but I caught her and skinned her quick, held her there kicking and mewling, upended, unspooling, unsung, and blue; told her, 'Wherever you go, little runaway bunny, I will find you.' And then she ran, as they're liable to do. Be at peace baby. And be gone."

That's just one example of a an entire album full of stunning lyrics. "'81" (an amazing song about forgiveness and love), "Does Not Suffice" (One of the best breakup songs ever. That which is communicated in the "la la la" of the song's conclusion is remarkable), "Go Long" (an indictment against that thing in men that is violence and war and hardness and heartless and ruin), "Esme" (I remember reading it was written for the daughter of a friend) , "Jackrabbits"...etc., etc. Literally. Every. Song. Is. Nuts. Now some people don't like her voice. Get over it. Her voice is beautiful. There. That's settled. Perhaps (but only perhaps) my two favorite songs on the album are the following:

Joanna Newsom - Baby Birch (mp3)
Joanna Newsom - Good Intentions Paving Company (mp3)

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