Thursday, April 02, 2009

Arresting Lines

I mean lines in poems, songs, or just plain old prose, which I speak all the time, that stop me in my tracks.
Lately a couple have hit me, and they are both from Fred Eaglesmith!
One is from "He's a Good Dog", and it is the lovely "I think he actually knows some things that actually I don't." Those two "actually"'s are so brilliant - they make that line so much better than it would have been with either of them missing. And that line leapt out at me when I first heard the song many years ago.
Saturday night I heard, for the first time, "30 Years of Farming". While I could not get the complete lyrics (Eaglesmith's diction could be better - say like James King's - I will add James King's youtube embed), one devastating line just jumped to the foreground when I heard it -"Oh, my daddy stopped talking the day the farm was auctioned, there was nothing left to say." I am no major romantic about dying industries - I often think we should just put them away quickly, rather than, as we are now doing, wallowing in slowing a death that should be faster.
But that great line captures the problem with this view.
Thanks, Fred! You challenged me in just the right way.

And for better diction!


At 5:51 PM, Blogger Tired Old Fart said...

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Tired Old Fart said...

The best version is her album with Chuck Brown, but this is pretty good


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