Winter Songs #1

As winter nears, I being to again turn to the songs that I most associate with this most dreadful of seasons.  We all have different ways we experience music, and our own unique ways we have them tied to specific sensory sensations or memories from our own pasts.  Many of “my winter songs” have little to do with winter; I was just listening to them heavily during winters, or maybe even just once during a very winter-specific moment.  Of course, the same goes for “summer songs”, etc.  Over the next few weeks I’m going to post a few of the more prominent of my own winter songs; usually without personal commentary, but sometimes with.  In the process, I’d love to hear about some of your own “winter songs”!

This first one is one I listened to a lot during a winter, but is also thematically about winter.  “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” by Arcade Fire is an almost wholly unique song in the rock world, at least lyrically.  It tells the story of two kids (who are next door neighbors) whose town is subjected to an enormous, almost apocalyptic snow storm.  They dig a tunnel from one bedroom to the other, and then escape to the surface (supposedly their houses are actually buried) and they begin a life by themselves in this new winter world, eventually almost forgetting the details of their past, and their “skin gets thicker/ from living out in the snow”.  Using very few words, lyricist Win Butler has crafted a song with layers of intense meaning and emotion that I can only begin to write about in this space.  Interspersed with this tale is the love story of these two kids…and perhaps your love story, with the person you love.  Perhaps YOU are the couple living alone in the barren white world.  For my money, you don’t get a more romantic line than

“You change all the lead
sleepin’ in my head to gold.
As the day grows dim
I hear you sing a golden hymn:
the song I’ve been trying to sing!”

If you watch the video below and really like the song, there is a BADASS live version if you click  here.

 

 

 

And if the snow buries my neighborhood,
and if my parents are crying
then I’ll dig a tunnel from my window to yours.
Yeah, a tunnel from my window to yours.

You climb out the chimney
and meet me in the middle of the town,
and since there’s no one else around
we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know.
Then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow!

You change all the lead
sleepin’ in my head.
As the day grows dim
I hear you sing a golden hymn.

Then we tried to name our babies
but we forgot all the names that,
the names we used to know.
But sometimes we remember our bedrooms
and our parent’s bedrooms and the bedrooms of our friends.
Then we think of our parents.
Well, what ever happened to them?

You change all the lead
sleepin’ in my head to gold.
As the day grows dim
I hear you sing a golden hymn:
the song I’ve been trying to sing!

Purify colors. Purify my mind.
Purify colors. Purify my mind.
Spread the ashes of the colors
in this heart of mine.

 

 

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