Have you ever wondered about the lyrics of a song–the story behind the words? I often do, trying to piece together what is told and what is left unsaid/unsung.
While browsing through Amazon’s Prime Music (I get this service as a part of my Amazon Prime Account) a few days ago, I stumbled upon an album–are they still called that?–titled: Blackbirds, by Gretchen Peters. I had never heard of this artist, let alone the song, but the cover looked intriguing, so I gave a listen to the title track.
The opening lines–“Blackbirds came at dusk and they roosted in the cane…caused such a ruckus that it shook my windowpane. And I’m covered up in dirt and I stink of kerosene, and no matter what I do, I can’t get clean.”–reached out and grabbed me by the throat, demanding my complete attention, until upon ending, I was released from its death-grip.
I drew a shaky breath, and thought, Oh my God, what a story! It was reminiscent of Vicki Lawrence’s song from 1973: “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”, but even darker–creepy Southern Gothic at its finest.
I proceeded to listen to the other songs included on Blackbirds, and each and every one spoke to me on a dismal and haunting level. I downloaded the entire album.
Friends, it was love at first listen.
Then I trotted over to YouTube to see if there might be a video of “Blackbirds”, and I’m happy to say there was. I watched it and was even more enthralled by the song. Who was murdered–the father or the brother? The lines: “He planted seeds of evil, and we harvested the shame”, leads me to believe it was the brother. What was the evil planted? What was the shame harvested? My mind comes up with a few scenarios, but keeps sticking on one.
Watch the video. Listen closely to the lyrics. And if you wish, share your thoughts concerning the story woven into the song.
I added a second song here that I think worthy of your time: “When All You Got is a Hammer”. It deals with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Then there’s the bittersweet “Jubilee” that brought back memories of my parents in their final years. This one brought tears to my eyes.
I could go on and on, praising every single song, but I’ll contain myself. Please give the two songs I’ve added links to a listen, and if you like them, I think all the songs from the album is available on YouTube. In my opinion, every one is a winner.