Saturday, February 11, 2006

A Lyric of the Day

Man is only half himself,
the other half is a bright thing.
He tumbles on by luck or grace
for man is ever a blind thing.
Bright smiles and dark eyes,
bright smile, dark eyes,
everywhere I went o-o-oooh
I was always looking for ya,
bright smile, dark eyes.

-- Bright Smile, Josh Ritter


Brett said...


It's about time we had a little Josh Ritter love here in the Realm.

For those unfamiliar with Ritter's work (and you really have no excuse for being unfamiliar with his work other than sheer laziness or poor taste), this is a cool little bridge (and the refrain) to a simple, beautiful song.

It's also a perceptive lyric from a songwriter that was in his mid-20's when he wrote it.

codepoke said...

I was looking at some of his other lyrics. This one is beyond perceptive:

every heart is a package tangled up in knots someone else tied


Rich said...

Yep. He's good. Well, better than good. And his CDs, heck even some of his songs, will just keep you thinking for hours. You can't say that about many musicians, even from the other singer/songwriter folks that are in basically the same genre trying to do the same thing. If he's not already, Ritter is close to being a master.

Brett said...

I think he is a master, Rich. He's one of those rare artists that emerges fully-formed as a lyricist, arranger, and performer.

Obviously, I'm a huge Josh Ritter fan, so I can't be expected to be particularly objective. But he seems to have a reverence for the craft of songwriting that many other writers - including some very good ones - lack. There's real passion in what he does, and I think it comes across.

He's also particularly great at starting and ending albums with songs that should start and end albums. The opening numbers serve as invitations. The closing numbers serve as punctuation. "Song for the Fireflies" and "The Bad Actress" are perfect songs - the closing verse to "The Bad Actress" should probably be the lyric for the day at some future point.

Incidentally, and appropos of nothing, Bill Mallonee will be here (in nearby Vienna) on 28-Feb. Should be another good show.

Anonymous said...

Well put Mr. Brett. Josh Ritter is absolutely fantastic. If anyone is searching for a sample, he's got some music up on his website for download. "Girl in the War" is a personal favorite.