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So Long, Marianne
"We met when we were almost young
Deep in the green lilac park.
You held on to me like I was a crucifix,
As we went kneeling through the dark."
The idea of holding onto someone as if they are your saviour really struck me. The hallmark of many a doomed relationship. But he handles it with sensitivity and a sense of humour. This verse is just perfect.
Added poignancy given his muse, Marianne Ihlen, died recently – and the letter he wrote her just before she passed: "Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine... Goodbye old friend. Endless love, see you down the road." Apparently Marianne stretched out her hand as it was read to her. Then died two days later.
Famous Blue Raincoat
"Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes
I thought it was there for good so I never tried”
This is my sister’s favourite song, and these lines always make me think of her because she has a lot of trouble in her eyes, and after hearing these lyrics, I realised that she’s hoping someone will take it away for her. I think that’s the great love she’s looking for. The thanks part would be thanking that person for taking it away.
"The birds they sang at the break of day
'Start again', I heard them say
Don't dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be"
I am, at times, quite the pessimist. I often tend to wake up with something on my mind and not let it go for the rest of the day (or week). These lyrics remind me to get the fuck over it. Granted that doesn’t always happen, but they do help.
"Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Not really the most shattering of his lyrics but particularly prescient because of this week, don't you think? God, he was good.
Dance Me To The End Of Love
"Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above
Dance me to the end of love"
Listening to lyrics like these as a younger girl meant that my expectations of "love" were rather high. I would look at my parents' wonderful relationship (and still do) and hope that love like that would come true for me. I reckon they will dance to the end of love.