Waxing lyrical #1
The Ivor Novello Awards are coming up so we thought we'd share our favourite lyrics over the next couple of weeks. Whether they're from a musical, an anthem or a ballad, we're interested in the words, not the tune. ‘
And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time’
What Sarah Said, by Death Cab for Cutie.
The first time I heard this song, I misheard it.
In my head, every plan was a tiny prayer to having more time with your dad. It doesn’t really make grammatical sense, but hey, these are the words of a musician. He’s allowed to play a bit fast and loose with language.
It was only when I saw the lyrics written down that I realised it was Father Time, not father time (or even father-time). Of course. Whenever we make a plan, we’re sort of assuming we won’t die before it comes to fruition.
I like my version more.
‘And the bare-chested boys are going down / On everything that their momma believes’
Trani, by Kings Of Leon – written by Caleb Followill, Nathan Followill and Angelo T Petraglia.
This lyric first stuck out to me because it’s one of the few things you can actually understand on the early Kings Of Leon records. Caleb slurs and yowls his way through most of the tracks, and that’s a shame because you miss out on a lot of beautiful words.
I love the imagery in this song. It takes you right there, to the parking lot of a sleazy, grimy, run-down bar on the edge of town in Nowheresville, USA. And this line in particular slaps you about with the pointless machismo of the plosive ‘bare-chested boys’ drinking and brawling their lives away. The whole album revolves around the experience of young men with nothing much better to do than drink and get high, distilled perfectly in these thirteen words.
Sadly it looks like Caleb learned to enunciate properly around the same time he forgot how to write songs. (See: ‘you, your sex is on fire’.)