Thursday, December 14, 2006


There are a fair few songs out there that defy any effort to describe. I've written before about Pink Floyd's "The Great Gig in the Sky" for example, which has the power to reduce me to a quivering wreck and robs me of the ability to make sense. I also get the same way about Jean Michel Jarre's "Rendezvous".
And now this.
A friend sent me this song not too long ago. I forget exactly why it was sent to me, but I listened to it, thought it was OK, and moved on. For a start, Sigur Ros are an Icelandic band, so I haven't zeroed in on the lyric as I often do. It's also what you might call "emo-ambient," which is not something I readily dive into.
But the damn thing keeps popping up on my iPod and it's been worming its way into my head to the extent that when it comes around now, I stop everything and just drink it in.
Everyone of us carries in our brain the memory of smells that take us back to our childhood, or to a particular time or place, something that brings a lump to our throat or that makes us smile: the particular smell of the sofa in your grandparents' front room, or a baby's freshly-washed hair. Instead of smells, I have songs.
And the damnedest thing is that this song doesn't bring a particular memory to mind, but it just raises ghosts, like the godfather I really missed getting to know or the feeling of security and comfort I remember having at the age of 6, but I'm damned if I remember what house I lived in at the time.
And maybe that's the joy of songs like this: perhaps they're blank canvases that allow us to make of them what we will. They provide the key to some internal door that accesses nameless, orphaned emotions and thoughts.


Anonymous said...

ah... i think you'll find it was sent *precisely* because it has a way of worming itself into your head... glad you like it.

Anonymous said...

Hi hon - not been over for a while, but I just wanted to drop in to say have you been to Minerva's blog recently? Perhaps you know the latest, but she's had some pretty bad news about the cancer. I'm just going round a few places of her friends and asking that they might go over to her blog and just shower her with love. She needs it.