I went to my first first Mountain GoatS concert last night. John Darnielle's lyrics really speak to me. He's also vocal about his Stepfather's physical abuse. I not only got to see them perform, but I was able to meet John and thank him for his music, one survivor to another.
You Were Cool
Woke up New
It's okay to find the faith to saunter forward With no fear of shadows spreading where you stand And you'll breathe easier just knowing that the worst is all behind you And the waves that tossed the raft all night have set you on dry land - The Mountain Goats - "Never Quite Free"
Loc: where the shadows lie
Revisiting the mountain goats. Favorite song right now is "Broom People." the line "friends who don't have a clue, well-meaning teachers" always reminds me of my late childhood.
I just recently read an interpretation of the song that makes it even more powerful.
The first half is his childhood, his abuse at the hands of his step-father, and his inability to articulate what he was going through. The line "I am a wild creature" refers to living a life entirely about survival and not having the ability to speak out:
'36 Hudson in the garage, all sorts of junk in the unattached spare room. Dishes in the kitchen sink, new straw for the old broom, friends who don't have a clue, well meaning teachers ...
but down in your arms, in your arms, I am a wild creature.
The second half is him as an adult with a person who loves him. The line "I am a bubbling brook" refers to him finally being able to talk about the abuse:
Floor two-foot-high with newspapers, white carpet thick with cat hair, half-eaten gallons of ice cream in the freezer, fresh fuel for the sodium flares ...
I write down good reasons to freeze to death in my spiral-ring notebook.
But in the long tresses of your hair, I am a babbling brook.
I am a veteran of the soul wars.
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