On the car ride (boring) in to work this morning I was listening to the “Indie Holiday” Pandora radio station that I just yesterday began to cultivate after copying it to my personal account.
To the point: When I reached my office, as I was driving up the driveway a song by Mindy Smith came on. I have never heard of this artist but was immediately pulled in by her voice and the arrangement of the song. I guess I am a sucker for a female bluegrassy singer (think Alison Krauss). To follow that tangent for a second, bluegrass is a wonderful genre because it is mostly upbeat and in a major key but allows for some harmonic exploration. It also offers the benefits of country-like songwriting without the twang that causes my ears to bleed.
Now back to the lyric: The song is titled “Follow the Shepherd Home” from the album My Holiday. The first lyric of the song is as follows:
When my paper heart’s in a frantic wind
Before this morning the phrase “paper heart” never had any meaning or impact on me but when you put a paper heart in a frantic wind it completely makes sense to me and transports me to that dark windy landscape with a weathered waxy tissue paper heart fluttering about in the gusts.
The real point: A great lyric can transcend the words on the paper and implant tremendous visuals into the listener’s head as to transport them from their current physical location.
Thanks for reading and keep writing great song lyrics. One line at a time is all it takes.