Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Exit Music (For A Film)"
Radiohead--Kid A
Written by Thom Yorke                                                                       
Transcribed by ihearttomorrow

Wake.. from your sleep
The drying of your tears
Today we escape, we escape

Pack.. and get dressed
Before your father hears us
Before all hell breaks loose

Breathe, keep breathing
Don't lose your nerve
Breathe, keep breathing
I can't do this alone

Sing.. us a song
A song to keep us warm
There's such a chill, such a chill

You can laugh
A spineless laugh
We hope your rules and wisdom choke you
Now we are one in everlasting peace

We hope that you choke, that you choke
We hope that you choke, that you choke
We hope that you choke, that you choke


I ask you, reader, to perish the thought that all the great musical storytellers are dead and buried or retired to their French Villa's or hidden compounds enjoying the fruits of their brilliant labor. I implore you to consider the characteristics of a great story and ponder the traits that make the teller a person of talent rather than a boring rambler with an over abundance of imagination. I'll venture to tell you what makes a good story, because I write them everyday without even trying (astute use of bravado). I create a mood. I'll put you in the moment that I've crafted from nothing and you'll forget where your body ends and the world I have spread before you begins. Since I do in fact tell stories that achieve that effect, I am therefore a storyteller of the highest talent, wait and see, but I am not too smug to share my glory...

Radiohead are storytellers of the highest ilk as proven by their song "Exit Music (For a Film)". As it plays, a song that is all moody melody slithering along seamlessly beside the haunting voice Thom Yorke has made a standard of perfection, I am taken to a place where the mind and body merge and exist henceforth in complete sync.

With the first words of the song a scene opens, a man and a woman, any color, any age, any socio-economic background lying together in the aftermath of some tumultuous event that allows the sadness to linger beyond the dark hours of a restless night. They are primed to escape the patriarchal affront to their union at any cost, and together they set off with wishes of death presumably aimed at the woman's father for daring to challenge their love. (Keep in mind however, that this song was originally written for the end credits of 1996's Romeo + Juliet so the lyrics could be considered a tad on the nose, but it's beautiful nonetheless--also, the song, at Yorke's request, was not used for the movie.)

The lyrics in this song are simple but they more than sufficiently convey the emotion and the connection shared by the protagonists. Words are used sparingly to create quality storytelling through adept manipulation of the tone, mood and rhythm of the instruments used as well as through the haunting voice relaying the scenes for consideration by the mind.

Experience the song for what it is--a pensive orchestration of sound that incites emotion as only a great song can. Though the subject matter of the song could be deemed archytypical especially since it was inspired by one of the greatest archetypes, Shakespeare's story of star-crossed lovers, we must remember that archtypes gain that title because they are so well received and revered, well modeled and able to incite emotion over and over again in all their varying interpretations and presentations. The song is good, the lyrics are perfect, and the tone is absolutely magical.

Listen to it and be changed. Exit Music (For a Film).

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