Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lyric Analysis with Floyd

I like to talk about lyrics, and since no one wants to talk to me about them, I feel like I should be able to get this out on on my blog.

So I have been singing Tom Waits songs to Edith when I feed her, and I noticed a theme to his songs that I wanted to share.  In the world of Tom Waits, the things will never be as good as they used to be, and there is no way to recapture the past. 

Exhibit A:

Yesterday Is Here

The whole point of this song is that things are only going to get worse. You have to wait for "yesterday" for things to be the way you want them to be.  This song is great because there's a whip sound in it. 

Exhibit B:

All the World is Green

This puts a finer point on things. It's specific. Referencing a marriage where things will only be set right when the world is new again. All the damage that a couple does to each other is never going to be undone. So as the years go by your world of green that you start with when you meet and fall in love slowly becomes damaged. And it's not coming back. He says it might come back after you die, but in the meantime, forget about it. Which is kind of sad I guess. But the converse message is to make the best of what you have. Which I am a big believer in, so that works for me.

Lastly Exhibit C

Walk Away

I really shouldn't be singing these songs to my kid. This one is about doing something horribly wrong and wanting the opportunity to go back "and do it over again" - but this time do the right thing.

So there are two things going on here. Either this is a strong enough theme that may little sampling of songs I can remember lyrics to reflects a larger trend. Or subconsciously I'm dealing with a lot of regret issues.

Also, for the record I wish there was a rule that you could only include album art on youtube videos, so that the vast array of douchey Tom Waits photos could die their well-deserved death.


  1. Wait, are you saying that Tom Waits peddles in nostalgia?

    I'm shocked.

  2. Nobody does dismissive like Kent. Do you want to talk about my multiple-choice discipline some too?

  3. 'Tis the season for spreading joy!

    The "wish I hadn't screwed things up so bad" aspect of Tom Waits's lyrics is probably why we both like him so much.