I often lament that there are no great modern day poets: Longfellow, Dickinson, Whitman, Emerson, Yeats — or the likes of more current favorites, e.e. cummings and Dylan Thomas. But this is rather ridiculous, right? They must be all around us. The spoken word scene is pretty incredible and most of my favorite songwriters are quite poetic. But still, who in our generation will make it into the history books? I guess if one’s work stands the test of time only then do they enter the realm of greatness. Which in turn means I’ll probably never know who gets sited among the great poets of the 21st century. I do hope poetry isn’t a lost art leaving us to forever regurgitate voices from the 19th and 20th centuries. (I feel the same way about philosophy and philosophers – where are all the great thinkers? But you don’t need to suffer through me ranting about that.)
Thankfully the music scene is laden with modern day troubadours. They satisfy my appetite for cleverly turned phrases and thought-provoking word pictures. I wish more songwriters made lyric books available as merchandise. I’d much rather pay for a small legible booklet, than turn the internet inside out trying to find the accurate lyrics for a song. And don’t ask me why, but if I have to sit down and type out the words myself, listening and relistening to make sure I’ve got it right — well, that pretty much ruins a song for me. I want to read the lyrics separate from the song and appreciate them the way I might ponder a phrase like this by e.e cummings, Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward. Good lyrics stand alone without the music. But the music is a gateway, a passage for the words to reach more people and live forever in song. I love that.
And with that I leave you with this one by Josh Record. It makes lovely repeat listening. They also did a beautiful take of this song live at Latitude – I had a tough time deciding which one to share. Both have elements that I really like. This Burberry Session came out today and was the kick in the pants I needed to get this post live, so ultimately that’s why I chose it. I’ve been sitting on sharing Josh Record since…. March. Where has this year gone??