Song Lyrics As Poetry

Some songs have the power to move us every time that we hear them. We remember the time and the place that we first heard them,and the impact that they had on us.

‘Goodbye Again’ hit me hard when I listened to it. Anyone who has been through a doomed love affair,particularly if one is the ‘other’ party,will recognise the emotion of the singer as she describes the trap that she’s in.

Mary Chapin Carpenter is not afraid to tackle sensitive,as well as unusual subjects. She’s written songs about a shirt and a town,for instance. She’s quite capable of writing upbeat numbers too,as the gloriously happy ‘I Feel Lucky’ demonstrates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9Cd2EoSUUM

Goodbye Again

Every night she sleeps alone
And by her bed she puts the phone
And every morning after that
She takes the phone and puts it back

He’s got a wife back home and three kids up and grown
But these are things that go unsaid
He might call her from the road just in time to say hello
And goodbye again

She keeps his picture tucked away
She thinks she’ll have it framed one day
And maybe he’ll come see it there
Hanging by her rocking chair

In a corner of her room on a Sunday afternoon
When all the world is dull and gray
She might close her eyes and sit, rocking gently for a bit
Till all the bad thoughts go away

Back when children played their games
London Bridge and Jesse James
She captured flags, she bounced the ball
And every time, she beat them all

And now she comes home to a cat in a three-room walk-up flat
And plays a game of solitaire
Well she made a fist last night, and she broke the hallway light
And the pieces scattered everywhere

You see, he’s got a wife back home and three kids up and grown
But these are things that go unsaid
He might call her from the road just in time to say hello
And goodbye again


Songs Lyrics as Poetry

I recently woke up with this song going through my mind. ‘Millworker’ is written by James Taylor,and the lyrics are like poetry – which the best ones are. I love its sad,reflective observations.
 
I vastly prefer the version sung by Emmylou Harris,to James Taylor’s original. The song works better,and it’s seen through a woman’s eyes anyway. Lovely stuff ! 
 
‘Millworker’
Now my grandfather was a sailor, he blew in off the water.
My father was a farmer and I, his only daughter.
Took up with a no good millworking man from Massachusetts
who dies from too much whiskey and leaves me these three faces to feed.

Millwork ain’t easy, millwork ain’t hard, millwork it ain’t nothing but an awful boring job.
I’m waiting for a daydream to take me through the morning
and put me in my coffee break where I can have a sandwich and remember.

Then it’s me and my machine for the rest of the morning,
for the rest of the afternoon and the rest of my life.

Now my mind begins to wander to the days back on the farm.
I can see my father smiling at me, swinging on his arm.
I can hear my granddad’s stories of the storms out on Lake Erie
where vessels and cargoes and fortunes and sailors’ lives were lost.

Yes, but it’s my life has been wasted, and I have been the fool
to let this manufacturer use my body for a tool.
I can ride home in the evening, staring at my hands,
swearing by my sorrow that a young girl ought to stand a better chance.

So may I work the mills just as long as I am able
and never meet the man whose name is on the label.

It be me and my machine for the rest of the morning
and the rest of the afternoon, gone for the rest of my life.