Today at 1:20 on on Seattle station, KUOW, I’ll be talking about “The Poetics of Great Lyrics,” with Jeremy Richards. The interview is also available on the KUOW website here.
Jeremy asked me to select three songs that had lyrics we could talk about as poetry. I chose Neil Young, “Helpless,” The Cure, “Just like Heaven” and Beth Orton, “The Sweetest Decline.” Listen to the interview and hear me overuse the word “evocative.” (The microphones in the studio are the size of prize winning cucumbers which can be unnerving.) Also, listen for the moment when I refer to song lyrics as a “gateway drug to poetry.”
Things that didn’t make it on the air: 1.) I included “Helpless” on a break-up mix tape (remember those?) I made for my first boyfriend our senior year of high school. 2.) I heard “Just like Heaven” for the first time when my unbearable high school crush (hint: he was a drummer in the marching band and in Frederick’s only alternative band) gave me a ride home from a football game. Can you imagine hearing that song for the first time that way? Ah, youth.