Thursday, September 20, 2012

To Get the Lyrics: Ben Folds' Story Telling

One of the many reasons I love Ben is his story telling capabilities in his lyrics. He usually has a story to tell about each song when you see him live.  Also, in his Retrospective album, he puts a story of how each song happened in the liner notes.  I have a few favorite songs of Ben's that the lyrics move me every time I hear them.
"Beautiful Songs of Love" a friend of mine mentioned in a previous post. Before, every time I heard the song, it reminded me of high school.  Now, when I read through it, it makes me think of adults who are different,  who choose to not be part of the crazy culture of the young professionals we are expected to be a part of.  You graduate from college. You get a job and wear a suit. You go to happy hour after work.
It doesn't exactly work that way, especially for artists.  We can pretend to be those people, but it's not who we are. So, where do artists meet people?  That's a whole different topic.
I never wanted to become on of the "Young, Uniform Minds, in Uniform Lines, And uniform ties."
I do love singing and creating "Beautiful Songs of Love."
"Steven's Last Night in Town" is one of my favorite stories to listen to Ben tell.  It went something like this: Steven was a "friend" that was visiting. He would use a fake accent and always tell women it was his last night in town.  He would still show up at the next party and tell the same story. He was obviously not leaving town!
This song is just fun to listen to, from the clarinet with swagger that begins it, to the fun drum solo in the middle, it's awesome!
Sometimes, the story telling of a song is how the listener interprets it.  Sometimes, it's the actual story that the lyricist intended.  Both of these songs are awesome examples from Ben of his story telling.  There are so many more!  

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