Thursday, 21 February 2008

Songs that are Poems, Poems that are Songs

Selma in the City tagged me with this meme, to choose five songs that appeal to my poetic sensibilities. To narrow things down a bit I chose five songs that appeal to me poetically and are also inspired by the natural world or show an environmental consciousness, even that was a difficult choice, but here we go, today these are for me the most crafty green poetic songs:

1. World Falls written by Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls - my favourite all round band, who I saw in concert three times last time they were in Scotland several years ago. World Falls is from their 1990 album Nomads, Indians, Saints:

I've slept in rainy canyon lands, cold drenched to my skin.
I always wake to find a face to calm these troubled lands
This world falls on me with dreams of immortality
Everywhere I turn all the beauty that keeps shaking me.

2. Celestial Horses by Bruce Cockburn, he's a great activist musician, whose song When a Tree Falls helped to shape my environmental conscience when I was a teenager. Celestial Horses comes from his 2002 Album You've Never Seen Anything and the lyrics are among his most poetic:

Tomorrow may be a hissing blowtorch
may be a silken sky shaken by the wind
that whirls in the wake of those whispering horses
But there's always a pillar of cloud on the valley's rim
There's darkness in the canyon

3. Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen. This is one of the many songs from Cohen that poetically links the personal and the poetical, one minute this is a song for dying love, the next its a warning on the state of the world:

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking. Everybody knows that the captain lied.
Everybody got this broken feeling like their father or their dog just died.

4. Crescent Moon by Cowboy Junkies from their 1993 album Pale Sun Crescent Moon.

Out among the fields gently hipped
beneath the corn
Assiniboine bones beneath the Highway
he stood there and he thought of home.
A finger traces the path of a satellite.
You're drawn to a distant copse of trees.
A voice as sweet as Mare's Tail
clings to the prairie breeze.

5. Birds by Aztec Camera from their very poetic 1993 album Dreamland:

I take a winter coat and walk the square
the people gather
and the birds they scare concrete and clay
conspire to cage me there
among the lost boys down in the streets
i see the trees grow bare
broken and battered in the thinning air
the birds are scattered in my footsteps there

I now tag gromit at Goss with Gromit (because she asked me to!) and Rethabile - and you! Join in if you want to and if you do, remember to leave a link in the comments here so I can come and read your answers!


Anonymous said...

Perfectly chosen. I am a fan of every song, but particularly the Leonard Cohen and Indigo Girls. When you see the lyrics written like that you realise they could stand alone as a poem. Thanks so much for playing. I knew you would choose songs I wish I had picked.

Janice Thomson said...

Love the words to Crescent Moon - takes me back to my youth on the farm in the prairies.

Anonymous said...

Oooh how powerfull. Especially like the lyrics to "Everybody Knows" by Leonard Cohen. Find that to be very emotional!

Thanks for stopping by me blog, would you mind if I played the Meme? Would love to as I feel that I could not live without music and it shapes our feelings and emotions! Will deifinately give me something to think about too!

Best wishes, Grom :o)

Anonymous said...

Good choices......I haven't forgotten you tagged me, by the way, I am just inundated at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Another Leonard Cohen, Go No More A-Roving:

So we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul outwears the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.

this is my patch said...

Have you discovered the website Instant Song Lyrics, once I like a song, I always go on to this site, and read the lyrics, my kind of poetry really. x

Pearl said...

I'm not surprised Cohen made the cut. You hear he's touring the world this year?

The Cowboy Junkies lyrics are lovely. Thanks for sharing them.

Rethabile said...

Songs that poems. Enticing idea. I still "owe" you a meme response, but I can't seem to get the snow off me. I'll give this a shot tonight, else I won't ever be able to. I learned a lot from yours, and knew Cohen and ... Cohen. We learn every single day.

Rethabile said...

Songs that are poems.

Rethabile said...

Done. It was fun.

RG said...

Wow, quite some choices. We might try that - I dunno - quite a challenge. Let you know! But - Il'd probably start with Joni Mitchell Big Yellow Taxi.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Rabbits Guy - oh Big Yellow Taxi, yes if I extended my list that would number 6! Thanks for reminding me!

Rethabile, thanks for taking part!

Pearl - no I didn't know Cohen was touring the world this year, neither did my partner, so thanks for letting me know!

Anonymous said...

Great list of songs. I have to say that Leonard Cohen is a particular favourite of mine...such a way with words and emotional charge.