Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Storytelling - songs of revenge or hope

Feuding families are a familiar theme in literature - Capulets & Montagues, Hatfields  & McCoys, etc. Last month the History Channel did a six-hour mini series on the latter. I avoided watching it, since I didn’t need to see all those pointless cycles of revenge. One reviewer whined: 

“Hatfield vs. McCoy vs. Hatfield vs. McCoy vs. Hatfield vs. McCoy ad nauseam isn’t dramatic. It’s tedious. Somewhere around the three-hour mark, all you want to do is have both families line up opposite each other, pull the trigger and fade to black.”

If you want much the same effect in six minutes instead of six hours, you can listen to the Drive-By Truckers song called Decoration Day. It tells a very similar story about the Hill and Lawson families. (I previously blogged about another less bitter Drive-By Truckers song called 18 Wheels of Love).

About a week ago I started hearing an unfamiliar song on a local alternative FM radio station. It had gorgeous three-part harmony, an unusual mix of instruments, and hopeful, wistful lyrics. A couple lines were:

“That wind is calling my name
I won’t wait, or I’ll never get on”

Eventually I tracked down that it was Half Moon by the Portland, Oregon group called Blind Pilot. (Lyrics are here in the comments on that video).  I didn’t know that in April it had been featured on the finale to the TV show, One Tree Hill. There’s also both another studio version showing the whole group, and a duet. Enjoy!

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