Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Song of the Day #182 - Joanna Newsom - Emily

The meadowlark, and the chim-choo-ree, and the sparrow...

Okay today I am 8888 days old and to celebrate here is hands-down my favorite song I've featured thus far in Song of the Day (if you were wondering, the top 5 is probably like... this, then this, then this, then this, then this... I feel like maybe I should have a "top 10 ranking" or something that I repost whenever it's adjusted, for extra hype). And like... this is only my third favorite song on this album. So if you read yesterday's post and you were like "what's the big deal with Joanna Newsom?" I hope you are getting that this is a very big deal.

I was mentally drafting some gigantic post to explain the appeal of this song but I procrastinated too much and now I have class soon so bun that. It never would have been enough anyways. I think this is a pretty accessible song, at least as far as her Ys-era stuff goes. Just listen to the lyrics and the beautiful harp and try to picture everything that's going on. She makes it very very easy to imagine something really wonderful.

Here are the two flaws in the song:
-The meteoroid is actually the source of the light, and the meteorite is the stone that's devoid of the fire that propelled it to thee (but this is OK because she's just recounting what someone else told her)
-During the section where remembers when pa mentions the big dipper, the "twang" in the back is so evocative that it almost becomes parodious, and it feels like she's hitting you over the head with the aesthetic (although I do wish I could somehow "dial this back" a bit, the fact that this is the only actual problem I have with the song, that it's too powerful at this point, is so endearing that I also just want to leave it)

Everything else - all 851 words, all 12 minutes and 8 seconds - is perfect.

I'd point out lines and aspects that feel particularly special to me but instead I just encourage you to really think about it and work through it and you'll come to your own special personal understanding of the song, which is more valuable than any one I could impart to you.

For me, there's nothing that could match those opening lines... Most of the time, when I listen to this album, it's only when I know I can listen to all of it. Often when I'm going to bed or in the middle of a long walk. And as soon as I hear those opening words, I know the next hour of my life is going to be alright. For 8888 days I have moved forward in pursuit of heavenly moments. In those lines is the guarantee of an hour. And that is how you truly move through life: day by day, hour by hour, line by line.

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