Words by Lucinda Williams

Another song that’s on my mp3 player at the moment, “Words” by the poetic and beautiful Lucinda Williams.

I would rather suffer in sweet silent solitude
Deathly defiant from drowning out
Filthy sounds stumbling ugly and crude
Between the lips of your beautiful mouth

Deep down within me words move in phrases
Frozen and still ’til they decide
To melt and drip over the pagers
Until that moment they live inside

My words enjoy the feel of the paper
Better than mingling with your consonants
Once they get going they never waver
And they slip in between your if, ands, and buts

When my words are hiding between the lines
Then I’m afraid they won’t hear me call
What if they fail me without a sign
What if they hardly surface at all

Screaming and throwing your weight around
My words choose knowledge over politics
You can’t kill my words, they know no bounds
My words are strong and they don’t make me sick

They still remain my only companion
Loyal and true to the very end
They’ll never ever completely abandon
Ever give up the paper and the pen

music is a language

With so many musicians and singers and bands out there, you’d think that all of music has been done already. You’d think that the same chord progressions and melodies should spin circles by now, ripping each other off. But they don’t. At least not quite.

Music is a language. Like Spanish or Cantonese or Arabic, it’s got a set of rules. When you know the rules you can bend the rules like in poetry, producing beautiful new combinations. Like math, there are certain patterns that enrich the senses and incite curiosity and wonder. I think it’s a matter of choosing your words precisely, using only what is needed to communicate the message.

I can sit for hours playing the same three chords on guitar. It’s just fascinating the type of sounds that I can produce. One very special moment in my life is when I get the inspiration to write a new song. I’ve only written two full songs, but the feeling of putting new or old combinations together in my own way is a feeling like no other. Stumbling into chords and melodies, there is a critical period where I like to just let the music emanate. Let it experience life in the physical world for the first time. Before I can give a song words, it gives me silence.

The same chords seem to have a certain chemistry together, and even though you take different songs composed of the same chords, they are different. Because chords are like words. And music is a language. And the feelings and ideas behind them are not bound to them. They travel through them. This is language used properly: breaking limitations and pushing boundaries. Freeing.