“How You Learn To Live Alone” is from the album Trouble & Love by Mary Gauthier, an American folk singer and songwriter.
The following quote pertaining to this album is from NPR Music:
“To be affected by these songs, you don’t have to know anything of Gauthier’s backstory (Louisiana orphan addict chef turned sober troubadour), the respect she commands across gender lines in the Americana scene, or the heavyweight catalog she’s built out of unflinching introspection and Southern Gothic-shaded storytelling.”
And another from Rolling Stone:
“Every tune is a rough gem of melody, misery and economy, as Gauthier excavates romantic wreckage like an archaeologist telling a story of fossilized love.”
“How You Learn To Live Alone” is my favorite “gem” on this album. In the following video, Mary Gauthier is joined by fellow singer/songwriter Gretchen Peters and Duane Eddy on guitar.
Mephistopheles and his demons
run rampant through my brain
drowning thoughts, drowning feelings
a spirit hurricane
teeth tear apart truth
revealing succulent lies
sugar-coated in happiness
in an attempt to survive
dark angels feast on all
leaving famine in their wake
an empty shell of a mind
now so fragile it breaks
and collapses inward
into the soothing blackness of death
taking my war-ravaged spirit
that has at last found rest
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.