Archive for the ‘ my favorite ’ Category

in stitches. [my favorite song, and album, about losing faith.]

There are lots of songs about loss of faith, so maybe if I thought about this for a long time I would come up with one I like even more, but this one is just so haunting to me. The whole album is about lost faith, but this song in particular grabs my heart and won’t let go. A song to God about no longer believing in God. When Bazan sings,

/ the crew had killed the captain, but they still can hear his voice / a shadow on the water, a whisper in the wind / on long walks with my daughter, who is lately full of questions about you /

It gets me every time. Most articulations of faith these days, including those pronouncing a lack of faith, are silly and thoughtless, knee-jerk reactions that can’t begin to grapple with the huge existential questions with which they are attempting to contend. On one side they talk about faith but do so by arguing for something that has never been orthodox, and didn’t exist until around 100 years ago. On the other side, they argue for the god of science, but do so by claiming facts that are actually pseudo-pop-science, rooted in ideas scientists haven’t believed for at least 50 years. It’s rare to hear someone discuss their thoughts intelligently.

This album, Bazan’s memoir of lost faith, is instead one of uncommon power and thoughtful wrestling. It’s a poetic explanation as to why he could no longer believe in the God he’d believed in all his life.

There are days when this is my song, even though I still personally believe in God.

/ My body bangs and twitches /
/ This brown liquor whets my tongue /
/ My fingers find the stitches /
/ Firmly back and forth they run /
/ I need no other memory /
/ Of the bits of me I left /
/ When all this lethal drinking /
/ Is to hopefully forget about you /

/ I might as well admit it /
/ Like I even have a choice /
/ The crew have killed the captain /
/ But they still can hear his voice /
/ A shadow on the water /
/ A whisper in the wind /
/ On long walks with my daughter /
/ Who is lately full of questions about you /

/ When Job asked you a question /
/ You responded, “Who are you to challenge your creator?” /
/ Well if that one part is true /
/ It makes you sound defensive /
/ Like you had not thought it through /
/ Enough to have an answer /
/ Like you bit off more than you could chew /

my favorite song about a mummy.

/ He opens his eyes, falls in love at first with the girl in the doorway /
/ What beautiful lines and how full of life /
/ After thousands of years, what a face to wake up to /
/ He holds back a sigh, as she touches his arm /
/ She dusts off the bed, where ’til now he’s been sleeping /
/ And under miles of stone, the dried fig of his heart /
/ Under scarab and bone starts back to it’s beating /

/ She carries him home in a beautiful boat /
/ He watches the sea from a porthole in stowage /
/ He can hear all she says as she sits by his bed /
/ And one day his lips answer her in her own language /
/ The days quickly pass he loves making her laugh /
/ The first time he moves it’s her hair that he touches /
/ She asks, “Are you cursed?” He says, “I think that I’m cured” /
/ Then he talks of the Nile and the girls in bulrushes /

/ In New York he is laid in a glass covered case /
/ He pretends he is dead, people crowd round to see him /
/ But each night she comes round and the two wander down /
/ The hall of the tomb that she calls a museum /
/ Often he stops to rest, but then less and less /
/ Then it’s her that looks tired, staying up asking questions /
/ He learns how to read from the papers that she /
/ Is writing about him and he makes corrections /

/ It’s his face on her book more and more come to look /
/ Families from Iowa, upper west siders /
/ Then one day it’s too much he decides to get up /
/ And as chaos ensues he walks outside to find her /
/ She’s using a cane and her face looks too pale /
/ But she’s happy to see him as they walk he supports her /
/ She asks, “Are you cursed?” but his answer’s obscured /
/ In a sandstorm of flashbulbs and rowdy reporters /

/ Such reanimation the two tour the nation /
/ He gets out of limos he meets other women /
/ He speaks of her fondly their nights in the museum /
/ But she’s just one more rag, now he’s dragging behind him /
/ She stops going out she just lies there in bed /
/ In hotels in whatever towns they are speaking /
/ Then her face starts to set and her hands start to fold /
/ And one day the dried fig of her heart stops it’s beating /

/ Long ago in the ship she asked, “Why pyramids?” /
/ He said, “Think of them as an immense invitation” /
/ She asked, “Are you cursed?” He said, “I think that I’m cured” /
/ Then he kissed her and hoped that she’d forget that question /

my favorite song about the area i grew up.

I’ve had this idea bouncing around in my head for a few months. I like all the various themed posts I do here at RtM, and while some have fallen into disrepair and need to be revived, I wanted to add a new one called ‘My Favorite…’ Basically, I’ll write about my favorite something or other. Examples: My favorite song about stalking. My favorite song about universalism. My favorite movie where the ghosts are the good guys… etc. Maybe sometimes the lists will be a five things combo instead, like, my five favorite songs about gorillas who don’t like bananas.

The first one, since the time one misses the Hudson Valley most is definitely in the autumn, is my favorite song about the area I come from.

There are lots of songs about NYC, but very few about the dozens of smaller cities and bedroom communities in the first city’s shadow.

“Poughkeepsie”, by Over The Rhine, is a notably beautiful exception. It could also be in the running for my favorite song about suicide, but that list is too long because people have written some beautiful songs about suicide, which is sad. At least in this song she never kills herself, but finds hope looking out over the beauty of the Hudson River. Oops, spoilers!

Poughkeepsie – Over the Rhine — You can buy the song HERE.

As a bonus, you should listen to this lovely José James cover of Autumn in New York. Sure, it’s about NYC, but still…

Autumn in New York – José James & Jef Neve