In yesterday’s post I should have mentioned that I’d been thinking about classic (aka “old”) songs. Truthfully, I hardly ever listen to new stuff–or old stuff, either, for that matter; and I rarely know more than one line. Like this one:
Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones…
That second phrase is kind of a “What the?”, isn’t it? We’ve instantly gone from a lovely image to Sam and Dean Winchester exorcising a ghost. Not that Sam and Dean Winchester aren’t lovely images, but…well, moving on.
One song I do know the words to is a classic that haunts me to this day. The refrain is:
What are those things with big black wings
Circling, descending from up overhead?
Lie to me, tell me that they’re only robins;
Tell me that your love for me will never be dead.
It seems like it ought to be silly, but I don’t find it silly. Bizarre, yes, but beautiful. The torment of the man begging to be told a comforting lie a five-year-old wouldn’t buy is so perfectly expressed, and so sad; and what adds that final touch of wonderful weirdness is the robins. It wouldn’t have been nearly as poignant if he’d said “magpies” or “seagulls.” No, he wants the birds to be the cheery, beloved, harmless (unless you’re an earthworm) robins of past times rather than the relentlessly descending eviscerators of now.
What a guy. Makes you cry. Und I did.