Wednesday, November 30, 2011

just leave me the lyrics

before i knew that he would have strong hands, eyes that turned downward on the sides, and a penchant for making hearty sandwiches, i knew one thing about the man i would marry. he wouldn't interrupt my songs.

he would listen, head slightly tilted, as sam beam whispered, in a way that only sam beam can, to me through the stereo. because he would know one sacred truth: there is nothing in this entire world important enough to interrupt "passing afternoon."

because lyrics are poetry and the english major in me dances when i discover a cleverly turned phrase or a hidden pun laced into an otherwise ordinary ballad. for years, i kept little mead notebooks full of them. i filled three entire ones before i hit middle school. in the age before the internet, i would lie on my stomach on the carpet in my bedroom, stopping and rewinding my favorite tapes to ensure i scribed them correctly. bone thugs-n-harmony's "crossroads" proved terribly difficult, and i wore out the single trying to figure out the rap. my alanis morissette phase is marked by astericks and @ signs.

later, i replayed "your body is a wonderland" until mama got sick of it and robert quit caring, because i loved the phrase "i'll never let your head hit the bed without my hand behind it." even now, when john's lost his appeal, i can still love that song for its cheesy sentiment that somehow hit a chord in me that few other songs have (until i heard passing afternoon, that is. sitting in the dark leather chairs of the library at midnight).

and there are times he forgets. when it slips his mind that i'm not just drumming on my steering wheel to the beat of a song, but actively, fully listening to the story. all it takes is one upturn of the eyebrow to remind him. not now, not now. not while poets are singing in my earbuds, reminding me of all the untapped beauty in the world. it's a brief reprieve, for certain. but a sweet indulgence nonetheless.

13 comments:

Ana Magdalena said...

This is beautiful, just like anything else you write.

The one thing I know about the man I will marry (I haven't met him yet) is that he won't interrupt me when I am reading my sacred novels. I am praying he's a reader too.

Torie said...

Thank you for speaking my heart today.

Annika said...

Your writing is absolutely stunning, my dear.

Amylou said...

I feel like you spoke my heart exactly Ms. Courtney! I'm the same exact way. We are so similar! I soak up the story in each song every time I hear it!

Niina - It seems pretty obvious. said...

Yes I agree! The lyrics are the most important thing in a song. I don't get people who never listen to the words (my bf's one of them). I also love making up my own stories behind the lyrics, what they could be :)

Amber Blue Bird said...

I wish more people took the time to actually listen to a song and get to know the lyrics. I feel like popular songs nowadays are all about the beat and nothing about the poetry of music.

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kira said...

I'm not kidding, I did the exact same thing with Crossroads. I even tried to teach the lyrics to one of my friends in middle school.

Janette said...

Oh my! You may not want to be my bloggy pal after this admission, but honesty is the best policy.. Or so they say.. I've never liked that John guy.. His voice bothers me.. Eek! I know.. I know.. Please don't dismiss me quite yet... I do however love love love that lyric in that particular song. (Are we okay still?)There's just something so vivid and real about it. I like how certain lyrics just stick out...Well put Courtney (as yooj!)!

Janette, the Jongleur

Mo Pie, Please said...

You always make me smile - I love this post and your love for that jam.

Kendra said...

...and now I'm listening to Iron & Wine with delicate care. Thank you.

Emma Frances said...

This is so beautifully written! :] And what a wonderful man you married!

American in Bath said...

This this I love this.

kate said...

i have never been able to put into words the reason why i love songs so much and you just did that for me. twenty two years i have been trying to figure out why listening to a favorite song feels like the singer is singing the words directly out of my heart. why when someone talks over a song it feels almost rude to hit the pause button but i dont want to miss a single beat. that being able to hold the rewind button to listen to that favorite line over and over is so much easier on a cd then on a tape. (especially that line from your body is a wonderland!) and its so amazing howmuch this just spoke to my heart. you made me realize something i never knew or didnt know how to know. thank you so much sweet friend. its nice to know im not alone :)

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