Wednesday, August 18, 2010

so go play with your piano/ and write a mediocre song

"A Dark Haired Girl Tries to Seduce a Piano Player"
by Ian Francis
Sometimes Damien Rice is too much for me.

To much digging, too much burrowing into the emotion steeped parts of me that I guard with flinching possessiveness, like day old yellowing bruises.

But I was caught today, thanks to the suggestion from the musically clairvoyant Heather, by a b-side off the 9 Crimes Single, "Rat Within the Grain."

Rice sings about this helpless, most likely hopeless, love that he circles around with building, repressed resentment and barely disguised brokenness.

What kills me is his blank honesty. But it's not a hopeful honesty, not like he's singing to someone on the verge of coming back. It's like he is singing to her back as she leaves, resigned to being forgotten, knowing something has died and he has no more power, and still almost tenderly reassuring the deaf ears;

I wouldn’t want you to want
to be wanted by me
I wouldn’t want you to worry
you’d be drowned within my sea

I only wanted to be wonderful,
in wonderful is true, in truth
I only really wanted to be wanted by you

The powerlessness is what gets me, and knocks the wind out of me with every turn of phrase that brings the lovely melody around to the disarmingly relatable conclusion that he can't do anything to keep things how he wants. And then his anger and self deprecation come careening through. He teeters on the edge of hating her and loathing himself for caring.

So go play with your piano
And write a mediocre song
About the shell of mediocrity
And pretend there’s nothing wrong

I never thought
You where a chicken shit
I never thought of you at all
Until you asked me to be part of it
And now you're showing me your wall

It's an all too human and real story of caring, of holding on, and of watching someone break your heart and walk away.

What I love and appreciate so often is that Rice seems to bring us to his stories at their close, leaving us to insert our own storylines and letting us join him on the dark stage watching the backs recede out of the theatre.

Tonight this song is on repeat, as though listening to the end of something can somehow push forward to the beginning of something else.

Rat Within the Grain- Damien Rice

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