Monday, October 3, 2011

Songs I'm Obsessed With: "Upward Over the Mountain" by Iron & Wine

Ah... That's better. This is a song I can talk about.

Samuel Beam is probably better known for his later works as Iron & Wine, such as The Shepherd's Dog and Our Endless Numbered Days, but I think out of all his wonderful, wonderful music, The Creek Drank the Cradle was clearly the winner. Clearly, as in, this is the only Iron & Wine album I own. Sadly. But I really want another one, especially after constantly listening to "Upward Over the Mountain."

The song is performed entirely with just one guitar and one voice, and nothing else, in signature Iron & Wine style, though he has developed his sound to other instruments over the years. Back in 2002, though, it was just him and his guitar. There might be another guitar playing the sliding chords in the chiefly instrumental parts between the lyrics, but it almost seems like the whole thing could have been played on just one guitar. I'm not sure if I want to call it a sad song; though the guitar and vocal tone on its own would certainly be quite depressing, the lyrics themselves are far from sad.

Well, they aren't really happy, either. There's sort of in-between, but way over on the melancholy side of the musical continuum. The lyrics honor the speaker's mother, memories with her, with depictions of her worrying for her son, of her love and her care. They are beautifully written, just like the melody, tone color and instrumentation.

This was a short one, but I've been busy ever since I started the fall semester. All of my classes seem to have more work loads than any other past class, or maybe it's just because I'm taking more classes this semester than the last. You'll still see me, just less of me. Bye for now.

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