Bag 'o' Pipes

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Elliot Smiths' King's Crossing

The following was submitted to CMJs' Elliott Smiths' tribute request here earlier today by yours truly:
There are many Elliott Smith songs that give me memories, and make me feel many different things. Some songs make me long for a lost love, some make me happy some depress me. You know the usual feelings that songs conjure up. But King’s Crossing makes me feel something totally different. This song scares me, it fills me with dread it gives me that feeling in my stomach that something bad is about to happen. Do you know that feeling? That rounded out, stomach dropping feeling of doomed anticipation. That feeling that you got, while sitting outside of the principals office. That feeling when a soon to be ex, was about to break your heart. That feeling when you pass a hidden cop and you know that you were driving a little too fast, those fleeting few moments when said cop is deciding if they are going to come after you or give you a free pass…Yeah, that feeling.
From the moment that eeiry speaking starts and the creeping guitar comes in, to the ghostly tracked backing vocals and those gut-wrenching lyrics kiss my ears, my stomach is in knots. The song emotes such pain and torment and invokes such frightening imagery. Scenes of hopeless loss and no tomorrow scenes of depraved souls and holiday fixes. “The judge is on vinyl / decisions are final / And nobody gets a reprieve” “I can't prepare for death any more than I already have” “It's Christmas time / And the needles on the tree / A skinny Santa is bringing something to me” “Open your parachute and grab your gun / Falling down like an omen, a setting sun”
Yet, despite all of these things, it is one of my favorite songs of all time. It is a song that can take me back to the first time I had heard it. It is a song that at it’s peak, its apex, moves me. Whether it makes me sing aloud or nod my head I can’t help but to be enthralled by it and taken away. It’s a song that will stick with me all day, and five hours later will dance off of my tongue like I have just listened to it. All the while scaring me and messing with my stomach.

(I am hoping to get my ezarchive account up and running within the next few days so I can post songs that coincide with these posts.)


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