Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Iron & Wine "Grace For Saints And Ramblers"

I love this tune, because it's one of those songs that, the more you listen, the more you hear.

From the well placed "Woo Ooh Oooh"s of the background singers, to the gentle use of jingle bells and hand claps, or the little horn punctuations that don't show up until the songs is more than half-way over, it's a cornucopia of tasteful delights.

And then you start to dig into the lyrics, which tumble out like a Dylan epic that feels both meaningful and obtuse.
There were washed out cars in our bark-old clothes
They were rubbing on each other, rubbing ghost on ghost
There were Jonesed-up punks and Jesus freaks
Weaving in and out of trouble, wrapping 'round and 'round a leash
There were sleepless dreamers, blues day preacher
The message and the messenger, the gun beneath the register
The sweet gum tree by the dug drop tank
We could never give enough to the bad-luck bank
There were hopeless sinners, sweepstake winners
They danced with the farmer’s daughter
Capered with the corporate lawyers
 What does it all mean?  I have no idea.

But I hope the Rock World catches up with the Rap World.

There's a site called Rap Genius, that allows users to "annotate" lyrics to songs, inserting meanings or explanations into phrases.  For instance, you can check out how Rap Genius explains what the heck LL Cool J is talking about in "Mama Said Knock You Out."

(Want to hear Bob Dylan sing that song?)

The good news is that Rap Genius has Rock songs on there.  But alas, no one has annotated "Grace For Saints And Ramblers."

If you have any answer, please, drop science like Galileo dropped the orange.

Hear the song on Youtube.

"Grace For Saints And Ramblers" is mvyradio's Album Of The Week tomorrow at 9pm ET.

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