Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Turning a phrase

I'm always impressed by how well some people can write. I admire the ability to capture a thought or a feeling and concisely express it in words. I'm often reminded of this when I'm listening to music in my car. It doesn't even have to be a particularly great song overall, but I might find one little piece of the lyrics that strikes my fancy. Today I was reminded of this when I heard a song by the band "The The", called Perfect. Here's a snippet from the song:

Passing by a cemetery,
I think of all the little hopes and dreams,
That lie lifeless and unfilled beneath the soil.
I see an old man fingering his perishing flesh.
He tells himself he was a good man and did good things.
Amused and confused by life’s little ironies,
He swallows his bottle of distilled damnation.

For some reason I just love that phrase "bottle of distilled damnation". Now, it might all seem kind of depressing just reading that bit of the lyrics, and the rest of the lyrics follow that mood, but the music itself has a rather upbeat tune, which contrasts nicely with the more serious nature of the words. It's kind of like life. For some reason listening to this song actually puts me in a good mood. Maybe it's this very contrast of the upbeat music and the serious words that lifts my spirits. There's lots of serious and potentially depressing things in the world but it doesn't mean you can't still have an upbeat attitude and demeanor.