Autumn. Great Salt Lakes
The reflections in our eyes
Leaves fossils lie still
So this one is going to be a twofer? What’s a twofer you ask? Why for counting silly… wah wah waaaaaaa
So this post is going to be about a poetry form, a band, and the place they both snuck off to when the teachers weren’t looking.
So boom… the band is called Fossil, and back in the mid 90′s this powerpop/pop/rock quartet put out an EP then LP on Madonna’s fledgling (offshoot of Warner) Maverick Records, annnnnd were never heard from again.
I first saw them on an episode of 120 Minutes that Matthew Sweet was hosting. The song was Moon, and video is made out to be like some old sci-fi “rescue the damsel in distress from the aliens” story. Although it had some lo-budget aspects to it overall it was a pretty solid video. Solid enough to make me buy their album. Well, when i was listening to it, I heard something that you don’t hear very often with really awesome tunes…. awesome poetry!
Sure there are tons of bands that have great lyrics and music… but there aren’t many bands that turn those dials to eleven and really pull off this elusive combo (if you know of any please share). Ed Sheeran comes close but he has a pretty “thin” style sometimes. It works great for a song like Wake Me Up and All of the Stars (such good songs), but the thinner the tunes, the closer they become to just plain ole poetry.
Anyway, back to Fossil!
The tunes had “meat” to them, were dynamically soft and loud when they needed to be, and overall are songs that I still find myself going back to today. What can I say I’m a sucker for a pop tune… yet as poetic as they are i didn’t really notice it until I heard their song Fall and then Ocean the second time through.
Ocean is a tale about a lost love, and the ocean. On the surface it is about a man’s dying wish to be buried in the ocean when “his body breaves him”, and although there are lyrics relating to lost love, try and peel these ones back and tell me what you see:
Now the sea is my kingdom
My benevolent wisdom
Stretches over the globe,
embraces every coast
I move with greater conviction
than I ever did living
My remains are in motion
Bury me in the ocean
As mediocre as I think I am as a poetry anaylizer, I’m going to take a stab at this one. I see so much more than a the last wish of an unrequited lover, I see so much more than what is even written on the page. Either it’s a moment indescribable freedom, or one trying to fool themselves in to thinking they are free, yet no matter how many times the singer attempts to describe the feeling you never feel like he gets there…you feel like he’s still searching.
Moon also kind of does this, just in a different way. The first line is “How can I presume to sing about the moon?” and the next 3/4 of the song is about how the singer is beside himself with feelings of woe about not having the right words to convey the conviction of his feelings towards the moon..
Fall on the other hand, ties into the haiku theme of this post. I hadn’t heard the song in a while, and although I was familiar with the lyrics, I never made the connection, until yesterday. For some reason I decided that I wanted to write a haiku, so after brushing up on my Haiku “rules” I started getting into a 5 syllable “zone” and as I was thinking about nature and leaves this song just came to mind. All of the lines are 5 syllables ending with the lines.
“It’s so logical – death is beautiful”
And while the traditional Haiku has a 575 meter, these poetic lines not only reference nature, they are specifically about a season, and they also have a clear “kireji”.
A kireji is defined literally as a cutting point and it is considered to be the most important part of a haiku. Think of it as a pause between two independent ideas that brings emotion to the reader, in a way that sort of connects the two phrases.
So yea, I just learned all that, it is really fascinating.
With that, take a listen, and see how this band handles the balance of the lyric and the music:
Thanks again for reading…. This post was waaay on the serious side and was almost even a little… dare I say “intellectual“. Alright that settles it… the next post is going to be about bar brawls or something haha
Talk soon everyone!