Tuesday, May 20, 2003

It Speaks To Me- by Nicole

Yes, there are more weird black girls besides me and Tia. Our friend Nicole, fellow BGLU will be contributing to our site regularly. Love her, embrace her.

When I hear or read the statement "It Speaks to Me", I think of a stuffy, pretentious critic; a bald dude with a black turtleneck (trendy glasses optional) leaning back as he looks pensively at a piece of art work. That is not the vibe I’m trying to bring. For now, I guess you could consider it a working title. Maybe it should read: “Did you hear that?” Anyway, I was alone and you know how it is when you’re alone, all kinds of things pop up in your head in the quiet. There are the quiet days that song lyrics pop up in your head. You’re either blown away by their simplicity or you’re mad at yourself for knowing them. But then there’s that one line or phrase in a song that you always find yourself singing. All of us have them. I thought I’d share a few of my personal favorites and what they mean to me. If in the process it inspires you to share, too, awesome. So, let me just jump on in this thing.

“I wanted to be with you alone and talk about the weather.”
-Tears For Fears, Head over Heels

This song happens to be my favorite Tears for Fears song. This line sticks to me because sometimes you don’t want a deep philosophical debate, you don’t want to think about serious stuff. Can we just talk about something trivial, even stupid like who really makes the best BBQ sandwich (well TFF was British so maybe fish and chips…)? I just want to be around you. We don’t even have to talk for that matter. You didn’t even have to wait for the bridge to know that brother was Head Over Heels.

“I came in like a Lamb, but I intend to leave like a Lion.”
-Sade, Slow Bullet

Now Sade’s music is notoriously chuck full of one-liners like this, but even the band got caught up after she dropped that. If you ever want to know what a wave offering sounds like, listen. You can hear those cats in the back, once you realize that you yourself are giving up one. Slow Bullet indeed.

“I’m not leavin’ ‘til you’re leavin’”
-Thicke, When I Get You Alone

What’s a brother trying to say? The room isn’t big enough for the both of us? The party’s over once you leave so, I’m gonna bounce when you do? If somebody said that to me, do you know what I’d do? I’d leave. Given the nature of the song, I could be risking physical injury, but then again so is Robin. Maxwell might come knocking. I picture it going a little something like this: “I know I’m not the cops, but…” When I get you it’s on, he says. Pssht, brother you don’t even know the half.

“Yo butt is mine…”
Michael Jackson, Bad

I’d just like to take a moment to thank Michael for immortalizing the phrase that every Black child in America has heard (directly) at least once. When you hear somebody say something like that, you just know it’s on.

“Too many suckas and not enough time…”
Mad Lion, Take It Easy

This one is self explanatory. I usually sing it after someone says or does something ignorant. It sooo sums up the frustration and disgust you feel as you shake your head. What can I say? I just love it.

“All I really need is to know that you believe.”
Prince, I Would Die 4 U

Now it is not entirely clear if Prince has a Christ complex, but it certainly is debatable. If you know this song and the lyrics that precede then you know what I mean. Then again maybe that says more about where I’m coming from personally than him, but I digress. This line is delivered with so much passion and desperation that it borders on masochism. Yet again, there is a machismo that is so self-assured that no one else is going to love this person quite the way he will/does. Simply put, this line is hot to death.

*****Guilty Pleasure: All of Money, Cash, Hoes. Every bit of it. Turn the lights down!

I’m about to do some big time cheating here, but please bear with me.

Scenario- Tribe Called Quest.

There is no line because I love from “Bo knows this and Bo knows that.” to “Rah, Rah, like a dungeon dragon…” I love every little hit, hit boom bip, with a brother named Tip and I already flipped when I saw the video and heard the beat. But the lyrical content totally blew my mind. People say, “Busta what it is right now?” He told y’all over ten years ago. I’m not the only one who was knocked out by this song. My one of my fondest memories of my freshman year in college was hearing a group of dudes from all different ethnic back grounds carousing down the hall of my co-ed dorm rapping these lyrics. Did I rap along every time I heard it? You know I did it.

“Time won’t give me time. And time makes lovers feel like they got somethin’ real. But you and me we’ve only got nothin’ but time. And time won’t give me time…”
-Boy George/Culture Club, Clock of the Heart

Or should that read “Boy, George?” Musically, Clock of the Heart is, pardon the pun, a timeless classic. But the hook? Oooh weeee, I can only shake my head as I think about it. I remember being 9 or 10, hearing it for the first time, and knowing that it would be my favorite Culture Club song of all… well, time.

“I would love you more than life, if you’ll only be my wife. I would love you night and day, I’m gon’ try in every way. I’m gon’ find a place to live give you all I’ve got to give…”
-Sting, When We Dance

Is there any wonder why Trudy Styler had four of his babies? You’re not sure if you’re swooning at the boarder-line blasphemy of the song or the sheer passion locked up in it. In the first place, you could do a Doctorial dissertation on Sting’s lyrics and they’d give you a degree, too. It would be either because you had the audacity to put him in the ranks with some of the classic writers or because some of his lyrics are dissertations themselves. As an aside, I have had talk about him with a college professor (Still Know Nothin’ ‘Bout Me).

“Your dirt removes my blindness, Your pain becomes my peace.”
-Jars of Clay, Frail

This one is last not because of importance, but because I’m hoping that I don’t drone on and on about it. This song has an intimacy that strikes you from the moment you hear the first note. It’s an intimacy best described by silence. I say that because every person that I’ve ever listened to this song with never talks or has very little to say during it. Although all the words are rich and vibrant, this stanza touches me most. This is the one I find myself repeating over and over. To me, this is the clearest image of Jesus Christ in song. It encapsulates His humanity and His divinity. It tells me in one sentence that He is willing to give all for me. He is not simply satisfied with me just to be happy, but to have peace. As much as I love this verse, I feel completely inept to describe a good bit of what I feel when I think of it or hear it because there is so much. But then again, that’s what music is supposed to be about right? Especially when it is made in the right spirit.

I could go on and on about all blurbs that I love in certain songs, but I’d like to give others an opportunity to share theirs. Maybe you have some of the same ones, maybe the same song different line, or maybe different lyrics altogether. That’s the cool thing, no the beautiful thing, about music in general. We all may not like the same styles or artists, but no one hates it. It’s the tie that binds.

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