Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Song Spotlight: What Sarah Said

One of the things I love most about music is it's ability to grab a hold of us over and over again. You can go months, even years, without hearing a song only to find yourself thinking about it out of the blue. In this age of the iPod, you can also find that you're just scrolling through your artist list and come across a band you haven't listened to in a few months, and fall in love with them all over again.

Yesterday I listened to Rilo Kiley, which made me think about the band The Postal Service which will inevitably make me think about Death Cab for Cutie. Ben Gibbard has penned some amazing songs for both bands he fronts, but few are more impressive than "What Sarah Said." I've listened to it a million times since Plans came out in '05, but yesterday, as I listened, I had these technicolor visions of standing in the room while my father slipped away. Then, I had dream after dream last night about him, and the day we had to say goodbye to him. There is something so special about a songwriter who can take an event from their own life and make you feel what they were feeling when it occurred. There is something so much more amazing about a person who can take that same event, and somehow write a song that manages to evoke emotion in you, despite the fact that the song is not about your life.

This song is so fucking sad, and yet so poignant which is precisely what we need from time to time to pick away the emotional scabs in our lives, which allows us to both remember and move on.

And it came to me then that every plan Is a tiny prayer to father time
As I stared at my shoes in the ICU
That reeked of piss and 409
And I rationed my breaths as I said to myself
That I’ve already taken too much today
As each descending peak on the LCD
Took you a little farther away from me
Away from me

Amongst the vending machines and year-old magazines
In a place where we only say goodbye
It stung like a violent wind that our memories depend
On a faulty camera in our minds
And I knew that you were a truth I would rather lose
Than to have never lain beside at all
And I looked around at all the eyes on the ground
As the TV entertained itself‘

Cause there’s no comfort in the waiting room
Just nervous pacers bracing for bad news
And then the nurse comes ‘round and everyone lift their heads
But I’m thinking of what Sarah said
That love is watching someone die
So who’s gonna watch you die
So who's gonna watch you die

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