Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sunday Sabbath Poetry: Gillian Welch

One of my favorite albums of the year so far is Gillian Welch's The Harrow & the Harvest, so I thought this week we'd take a break from poetry proper for some good ol' country lyrics. Note especially that vivid second verse, which contains my personal favorite of her mashed-up metaphors: "Working the lowlands door-to-door / Like a latter day saint." Nice.

The Way It Will Be

By Gillian Welch

I lost you a while ago
But still I don't know why
I can't say your name
Without a crow flying by
Got to watch my back
Now that you've turned me around
Got me walking backwards
In my hometown

Throw me a rope
On the rolling tide
What did you want me to be
He said it's him or me
The way you made it
That's the way it will be

It was seven years on the burnin' shore
With gatling guns and paint
Working the lowlands door-to-door
Like a latter day saint
Then you turn me out
At the top of the stairs
You took all the glory
That you just couldn't share

I've never been so disabused
I've never been so mad
I've never been served anything
That tasted so bad
You might need a friend
Any day now, any day
Oh my brother, be careful
You are drifting away

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