all sparkly and shit

Life Lessons from Lyrics – Vol. 1

As a songwriter (I use that term loosely!) and a music-and-written-word obsessed person, I have always placed great importance on the lyrics of the musicians I listen to.  My husband completely disagrees, placing the chord structures high above what I prize, and argues with me constantly about it.  I praise Joni Mitchell (he says her music is ‘fine…’), crow that Tapestry is a perfect album (he says it’s ‘simple, it’s okay’), and obsess over Jeff Buckley’s perfect voice and its ability to bring the words he sings to life, while he insists that Zappa (and his GOBBLEDYGOOK) is the greatest, that Rush is an amazing band (what the hell are they talking about, why are all the songs so long, and GOOD GOD I HATE GEDDY’S VOICE), and that ‘Yesterday’ was originally written about breakfast foods and could be about anything and be just as perfect of a song.  WHO DID I MARRY?!?  haha.  It’s true, I have learned endless life lessons from the poetry/flowetry of many artists, and today I want to take the time to celebrate one of those contributors to my life.  Today, I celebrate the eternal wisdom of:

Cake.

CAKE

Yes.  Cake.  The band.  The baked good has contributed much to my life (and my ass) as well, but that’s another entry.  Today?  The band.

Let us begin with one of my favorite nuggets (ha) from their (best) album, ‘Fashion Nugget’, an album I love so much that my bestie Audrey (of mountaincalling28 fame) and I know EVERY single word and have taken the time at least once a year every year since high school to sit down together and recite/sing/act/interpretive dance the entire album start to finish.  I wish I would have heeded this advice many, many years ago – I would have saved myself a lot of bullshit had I taken them to heart!  From ‘Friend Is A Four Letter Word’:

To me, coming from you,
friend is a four letter word.
End is the only part of the word that I heard,
call me morbid or absurd;
but to me, coming from you,
friend is a four letter word.

I could have saved myself a lot of time and heartache dismissing those around in my life who bring negativity and general shittiness if I had listened to this gem a little closer!  Dammit!

fashionnuggert copy

A lot of the truths these guys bring up aren’t necessarily things I want to go talking about all of the time – I have a few sore subjects, as we all do, I suppose.  One of those subjects is that nagging fear of failure, and a little sense of humor goes a long way to soften the blow of truth, as well as remind me about the positive in the song ‘Jesus Wrote A Blank Check’:

Jesus wrote a blank check,
one I haven’t cashed quite yet.
I hope I’ve got a little more time,
I hope it’s not the end of the line.
Yeah, Jesus wrote a blank check,
one I haven’t cashed yet, all right.

I’m in the process of cashing that shit, Cake!  Thanks for the encouragement!

motorcade4 copy

Some of their lyrics are genius in that they have one very simple lesson to teach, and they frame it with jabberwock-ian gibberish that cracks me up every time, such as this ridiculousness off of ‘Fashion Nugget’ from the song ‘Nugget’:

Now nimble fingers that dance on numbers
will eat your children and steal your thunder,
while heavy torsos that heave and hurl
who crunch like nuts in the mouths of squirrels.

that is followed by something I’ve had to try to learn and have yet to master (just ask Tom):

Shut the f*&$ up – learn to buck up.

I’m trying, guys,  I am.

nugget2 copy

And along those lines, I always shake my head at my overanalyzing, worrying, anxiety filled self when ‘Tougher Than It Is’ comes up on shuffle, because… Duh.

Well there is no such thing as you –
it doesn’t matter what you do.
The more you try to qualify,
the more it all will pass you by.
Some people like to make life a little tougher than it is.
Some people like to make life a little tougher than it is.

Hey self.  CUT IT OUT.

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I have also always felt that one of their songs describes the kind of woman I want to be (and I know Maria of the fab blog KitchenClosetHeart (follow her!) agrees) in a pretty concise way, and that song is ‘Short Skirt Long Jacket’, off of ‘Comfort Eagle’:

I want a girl with a mind like a diamond, I want a girl who knows what’s best.
I want a girl with shoes that cut and eyes that burn like cigarettes.

I want a girl who gets up early.
I want a girl who stays up late.
I want a girl with uninterrupted prosperity,
who uses a machete to cut through red tape.

With fingernails that shine like justice,
And a voice that is dark like tinted glass –
she is fast and thorough and sharp as a tack,
she is touring the facilities and picking up slack.

I strive to embody all of those things.  Especially the shoes.

comforteagle copy

Other required listening for awesome life lesson-age: “Rock & Roll Lifestyle”, “She Ain’t No Good”, “Open Book”, and just for shits and giggles, “Race Car Ya-Yas”.  Trust me.

Thanks for the lessons and the laughs, Cake – and to everyone else whom I’ve reminded of their awesomeness?

You’re welcome.

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This entry was published on September 14, 2013 at 11:08 pm. It’s filed under Feeeeeeeeelings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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