Tuesday, March 25th, 2008, 5:58 pm
In my previous post I quoted a few lines from Richard Thompson’s fantastic song "Sibella". One problem–I didn’t quote from the song. I quoted from a website that posts lyrics of millyuns and millyuns of songs. Now, the lines I copied and pasted aren’t that far off from the lyrics posted in the liner notes–there’s no "Oh" to start the song and Thompson correctly spells the first name of Louis XVI’s wife. That should’ve raised an eyebrow–perhaps Thompson was employing an authorial conceit calling her "Mary" instead of "Marie" Antoinette, but perhaps not. Maybe I shoulda reached for the jewel case and found out for sure.
The reason I’m mentioning this at all is because the site that I grabbed the lyrics from totally botched the chorus of the song, which is about a guy who’s in love with a girl he knows is all wrong for him. I’ve been playing this song over and over again (not because it’s particularly apropos, just because it’s frickin’ awesome) and a line that repeats over and over again is "I found myself/Strange but true".
Except…that isn’t the line. And as I’ve been singing along with the song in my car I’ve found myself thinking, "Hey, that doesn’t make sense". I am, as always, a Master of the Obvious. He knows there’s no way things are gonna work out with this chick, he’s lamenting that fact all the way through the tune…and yet the most reflective line of the song is "I found myself, strange but true?". He found himself? Self-awareness doesn’t seem to be his problem–if anything, he’s TOO self-aware. He’s digs this girl and knows he’s effed. We’ve all been there, yes? And most of the time we pretend the problem doesn’t exist until things really hit the fan. And even then we hope against hope things’ll solve themselves.
It turns out that the line is, in fact, "I find myself/Strangely true". Which makes sense. And when you hear Thompson singing that’s actually a lot closer to what it sounds like. In fact, even before I nailed down what the hell he was saying I actually found myself singing "I find myself/Strangely true". Which leads (at long last) to my point–how much accidental editing do people do to the music they love, and how much serindipitical nonsense are people singing that actually has nothing to do with what the artist intended?
Anyway, if nothing else, I hope my ramblings have inspired you to check out Richard Thompson if you haven’t before. Or, if you have, check him out again. He’s awesome. Moreso in the original.
2 Responses to “Trust No One”
Leave a Reply