The Untitled Song by Emily Saliers

23 April, 2010 § Leave a comment

I remember the first time I heard the Indigo Girls.

A dimly-lit basement room in the autumn of 2000, across the street from the theatre, with a cup of tea and honey.  “Midnight Train to Georgia” was playing.  Not quite blues not quite pop not quite rock, but it completely captivated me.  The next song though left me silent – “Virginia Woolf”.  Back home, there are so few I know who read her books, so to find someone who would write a song for her in a foreign place was a moment that made me feel not so quite alone in the world.  And what a song it was, and still is.

It was here that my ears revealed to my mind the meaning of contrapunctus, made more poignant by the contrasting colours of the one voice that I just couldn’t get out of my head.  The Indigo Girls were impossibly tight: rhythm, harmony, enunciation, phrasing, everything.  I listened to just about every Indigo Girls’ song I could lay my hands on from then on.

For the past few days, I’ve been listening to a tune called “The Untitled Song”.  I couldn’t find much information about this song but it seems to have been written by Emily.  Don’t the words just take your breath away?

The Untitled Song
by Emily Saliers

I tried my best to get over you
Kept my distance so I wouldn’t have to show
That the things which I kept hidden
By my casual smile
Were the things that I needed you to know.

You could have seen the acting on the stage
You could have read the writing on the page
You could have noticed that a heart went breaking into two
But you never knew it was I was falling for you.

Sometimes I still think that I could get to you
Then I laugh, and think I could swim the seven seas
It seems when I’m set to fly, there’s a storm up in the sky
When I’m set to sail, there isn’t any breeze.

You could have seen the acting on the stage
You could have read the writing on the page
You could have noticed that a heart went breaking into two
But you never knew it was I was falling for you.

It’s been some time now that I saw you in a photograph
Looking just the way you did so long ago
I could almost see you throw your head back
And start to laugh in that gentle way that used to let me know
Things were okay, and a hurting song is just a cliche
And what’s the use if they only always fade away
Just like the sun – just like everyone – but you.

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