Friday, September 24, 2010

Favorite Songs Ever, Part 1: "We Are Nowhere and It's Now" - Bright Eyes

Notice I said “Part 1” and not “Number 1”. I’m not going to put these in any order. I’m just going to list them as they strike my fancy. Wow. That’s a terrible phrase.

I’ve already written a few posts about some of my favorite songs. They weren’t listed in this category. They were just written about, so I’m not going to write about them again. You can find those entries here,here,and here. There may be a couple more, but I can't find them.

I didn’t love this song when I first heard it. I didn’t love this album when I first heard it. It took hearing each song on their own at random times to really make it happen for me. Now, as a whole, I love this album. I just think that the first time through, it’s a lot of Bright Eyes whining to take all at once. I think that’s the case for a lot of his albums. And I don’t mean whining in a necessarily bad way. I really do enjoy Bright Eyes. But his voice is nasally and he does complain a lot in his songs.

I think this song first started seeping into my skin when I caught the last verse and Conor Oberst and Emmy Lou Harris’s voices blend so heartbreakingly on the line “she took a small silver wreath and pinned it onto me she said this one will bring you love”.

But, oddly enough, the song really didn’t connect with me until I was watching the movie Knocked Up. I hated this movie when I first saw it but then found myself watching when it was on TV and really grew on me.

There is a part in the movie where Katheine Heigl and Seth Rogen part ways for a bit. She is nearing the end of her pregnancy and he is still being a jackass. They fight. They split up. This song then plays over a montage of them going through their days. She is going to birthing classes and prepping the nursery. He is moving out of the house he lives in with his stoner friends, getting a job, getting a nicer apartment. For whatever reason, this song combined with those scenes really moved me. I always find myself tearing up. Stupid Judd Apatow.

After that happened, I went to my iTunes to give the song a listen on its own and it has completely changed for me. The music and the voices are so perfectly matched to those beautiful, beautiful lyrics.

And, even with all it has going for it, I think I would love it just for these lines alone:

“like a 10 minute dream in the passenger seat
while the world was flying by
I haven’t been gone very long
But it feels like a lifetime”

I don’t know why, but just typing those lyrics make my eyes well up. Is it because it’s just such a normal thing to write about? We’ve all daydreamed in the passenger seat. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had those moments. R.E.M. made a whole video about those moments. It takes a very special writer to make something as casual as looking out the window in a passenger seat convey such emotion. And this song is filled with those lines.

“you see the stars that clear have been dead for years
But the idea still lives on”

“and my friend comes after work
When the features start to blur”

And, as mentioned above:

“she took a small silver wreath and pinned it onto me
She said this one will bring you love
And I don’t know if it’s trueBut I keep it for good luck”

You can hear the song here:

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