Saturday, April 22, 2006

Listening: Between Here and Gone ... Elysium

I have long been a huge Mary Chapin Carpenter fan. I've been listening since the early '90's. Her recent album, Between Here and Goneincludes several memorable songs. Among my favorites are One Small Heart and Elysium. The song links will take you to a short ITunes clip, but I think you have to be a member to listen.

Anyway, the song Elysium employs some wonderful imagery to blend with the melody and arrangement to transport the listener into the ancient, Homeric Elysian Fields, which in Greek literature, was the final resting place of the heroic and the virtuous.

Here are the lyrics to Elysium.

I don't really know how I got here this time
I was only just following orders
Listening to the voice in my mind
Saying steer clear of margins and borders
So I wasn't thinking of where we would go

On a cold afternoon through the mountains we drove
Up a few hairpin turns and then spread out below
The valley appeared with the sun
Like Elysium

I looked out the window and stared at the fields
Where the blue sky and green were colliding
I looked back at you and I knew we were sealed
By a fate that has ways of providing

Yes sometimes you get there in spite of the route
Losing track of your life and what it's about
The road seems to know when to straighten right out
The closer you come
To Elysium

They say there's a place for those who are good
With it's pearly gates swinging wide open
The rest of us here are just knocking on wood
Quietly, piously hoping

I could wonder if all of it led me to you
I could show you the arrows and circles I drew
I didn't have a map, it's the best I could do
On the fly and on the run

To dreams that were tethered like kites to the ground
To the bridges I burned, to then turning around
It was here in your heart I was finally found
And the last battle won
For Elysium

Copyright © 2004, Mary Chapin Carpenter


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