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As I've mentioned here many times before, John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats is one of my favorite songwriters. His lyrics are sharp, vivid and truly poetic, and when performed solo on acoustic guitar his songs are particularly evocative and moving. Here is his song "Minnesota" (recorded in 2000 on WFMU).

Seeds came in the mail today from Holland
And the language on the package is wonderful and strange
All sorts of flowers that grow upon the earth
Goodly colored, gloriously arranged
I circled the house and I scattered them around
I let the water sink down into the soil
Stared a long time at the residue
Blood, milk and oil
My god, the humidity is something else again
Our shirts are soaked clean through
The house is throbbing and the heat keeps coming
And I keep looking at you

And you're singing in Dutch to me
I recognize the song
It seems so old, so fragile
And I haven't heard it so long
We may throw the windows open later
But we are not as far west as we suppose we are
Hot wind coming off the water
Sky gone crazy with stars
While we stay here we imagine we are alive
We see shadows on the wall
There's something waiting for us here in the hot, wet air
Sweat, water and alcohol
Just the old love, rising up through the wooden floor again
Just the old blood, asking for more again

January 27, 2014 in Music | Permalink