The magic of lyrics


Do you guys get “Chariot” lyrics? Well I don’t, not all of it. But I love it, nonetheless! It’s similar reaction like with some poems that I read, that I don’t really totally get, but that give me some certain feeling of… meaning, hitting the spot, saying something profound, waking something up inside of me. With those poems the thing is, you need to let go, you can’t be in control with them, just let go and relax. Let them fly you, your thoughts, your feelings.

And this one. This does the same to me. Just listen this, my personal favorite version of Chariot. How does it make you feel? What it is telling about? What are you thinking when the song ends? Breathing?

I just had this conversation about the lyrics and their meaning for the song and the experience. You can find it from HERE. In it we both agreed that Gavin’s older songs have some kind of poetric quality in them, that makes them grow through time, change meanings, get stuck with you and your thoughts. They delicately allure the listener into the soft and deep trap of degrawement.

Works for me, anyways. I can leave the lead to the man and not be the slightest worried about the outcome. Just relax with his talent and his voice.

More amazing lyrics of his, a couple of my favorites:

Writing lyrics isn’t the most easiest thing to do. I’ve tried that sometimes myself with no particular success. They have all ended up crumbled in trash. I scribble poems, though, and the hardest part in them is not saying too much. Leaving the space for the listener/reader’s own thoughts – I guess that’s the thing that makes the song/poem to work and to be something special.

To grab the moment, the feeling, the story with so few words possible.

And do it with a rhyme, too. Gavin has said that making the lyric rhyme is important. And I would add that doing that in a way it doesn’t sound like too obvious rhyming. There is this one Finnish band called ‘Eppu  Normaali’, whose lyrics do rhyme and they have made it so through and through that it’s becoming funny – but that’s what they’re after, and because it’s soo overly obvious, I actually love their style. They’re using funny words just to make the lyrics rhyme.

But when you listen to Gavin’s songs… I don’t even realize they’re rhyming, and they are. That’s the delicacy I was talking about earlier. He can make it sound like he just let the words flow and they ended up like that without any forcing. So beautiful, so magical, to me at least.

I once wrote that the thing I love most about Gavin’s lyrics is the thing that even though he is singing about the same things everybody else is singing about, too, he is doing it with some cleverness and newness, bringing a whole new perspective to it all.  Just think about these two mentioned above.

‘Mountains to move’ leaves me breathless. It’s so beautiful, so sad, so full of every kinds of emotions, I can’t even describe it even without any rhyme. Ha!

And because I so much love words, I love this man’s work so completely, I respect the huge talent of his.

The newest songs haven’t been lyrically so overwhelming and amazing to me, but I know he has it in him. Keep it up, Gavin, we love you!

He said it himself:





4 thoughts on “The magic of lyrics

  1. theres a quote i read a while back that always makes me think about gavins music, since i was only 12 when i bought chariot and fell in love with it. somehow it still instantly meant the world to me even though i had absolutely nothing in common with a 20 something year old dude in new york chasing gigantic know? i was a kid, i didnt understand it at all, but somehow listening to that record, for felt kind of instantly like home. like i finally found the thing i was supposed to pay attention to… and the quote is this: “genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood” -T.S. Eliot — and its so incredibly true and says exactly what youre saying! i think the thing about poetry is that it comes from a place in the writer that usually they are not even fully aware of. one of gavins favorites, sam cooke.. i remember reading something he said about how he believed that his songs came from the sky, that he was only a vessel for them to come through. and i was so happy reading that because its exactly how ive always felt about songs.. and about poetry or even just moments of discovery in general. theres that little sense of ‘elsewhere’ in people, i matter what your religion or lack thereof..the otherworldly part of people that they dont know is there until something hits it and suddenly youre different.. out of what seems like nowhere..and thats what makes music and writing so special. its funny that you wrote this because i was thinking a lot about it last night…and especially funny that you talked about how you need to leave “space” because i was particularly focused on the idea of space in poetry and how important it is. anyway, to answer the question about chariot..gavin said he always wanted to write a song with the word chariot in it because of van morrisons “sweet thing” and also out of the biblical story of elijah (gavin has used a lot of biblical imagery in his music). and he says its a song about “a vehicle to get you where youre supposed to go” ..its definitely a really special song and probably the first song i remember really sticking out at me the first time i heard the album. as time has gone by and ive listened to it a million times since then.. that song, that album, and gavins music in general, and maybe even gavin himself…i consider to be my own chariot. my “vacation away from this place” if you will..the thing you go to to gather strength when you need it. the line “more than a memory” is especially special to me because like i said about listening to chariot for the first felt like “home” the sense that even though id never heard it it still felt.. familiar?…which ties back into that “elsewhere” thing that im not sure i have any good explanation for..anyway.. sorry im so long winded!!! but you always seem to post about things almost exactly as i think of, rant over!

  2. Whoah, this time I can’t even say I agree. I’m so, so, so, so totally with you! It’s getting unreal how similar your thoughts are to mine. That quote is very touching to me, and it says the thing I tried to say, so beautifully. That’s the magic I was talking about, that’s the thing I have tried to explain to others without any particular success, though. That how I can absolutely love some poem or a song that I don’t even understand with my mind, but with my heart. I can feel it, feeling is the key with those.
    What you said about the ‘elsewhere’ in us, that’s so true to me, it feels the same, you know, as the poems. Like there’s something in the thought, some deeper meaning, something I should think about more. And I guess now that you brought that up I will.
    And what you said about Chariot… I’m getting emotional over this now. Because I’ve used to think that Gavin’s music, and himself, that it is my own, my personal chariot. Giving me strength. Pulling me through. Lifting me up. Just what you wrote.
    I can also identify with what you said about feeling like home. When I heard the first notes of my freshly bought Sweeter -album, I was thinking ‘whoah, this is it. This. Is. It.’ It did felt familiar, something that belonged with me, to me. I kinda felt I had found something important, or something important had just found me.
    Chariot has it’s special meaning for me, too. Even though as I said, I don’t get it thoroughly, it lifts me away. Gives me hope. Shows me something I’m almost able to grab. I so much love it. One song I never seem to get used to.

    Oh, and don’t be sorry about the length of your comments! I love them! I’m a bit wordy myself, ha! I truly appriciate that you take your time to share your thoughts!

  3. yes!! its beautiful isnt it? theres something about that feeling that makes you feel like you actually belong in a specific place in the world. like you said about finding something thats “yours” i totally agree..not to say gavin “belongs” to me but you know..there are so many people in the much to be interested in,..but somehow we all end up with something that feels like it was made for us..or we were made for it..either way.. there has to be some kind of direction to it all..theres no way every person in the world is meant to be affected by every single other one. we get the ones we’re supposed to get.. by some kind of miracle it all doesnt end in utter chaos. somehow there is order and somehow we discover things and they feel like fate and i feel incredibly lucky that gavins music found me. its pretty wonderful to feel like the things most important to you ARE for you..and to have little signs along the way that almost seem to confirm it…that theres really nowhere else you were ever gonna end up. thats special. there are really no words for it.

  4. Exactly. No words. And when you feel it deep in your heart, you don’t need any words, right?
    It’s amazing to think that maybe I was supposed to get found by Gavin’s music, but I guess that is true, no matter what. The huge changes in my life have started after that happened. He (or his music) has opened some pretty heavy doors I wasn’t able to open all by myself, and for all that he (his music) has done to me, I’m so extra grateful I really don’t have any words for it. I have worried that maybe I’m just making these things up in my head, but I just can’t deny that our Gav here has given me the push I needed, a little nudge to get me out of my door, on my feet, getting up and ready.
    And when thinking that maybe that was kind of ‘fated’, that it was meant to happen… gives just a whole new perspective to it all. So wide it takes my breath away.
    It’s just music, just a guy. And we’re (=I’m) getting a whole ideology from it. That I would call something special.

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