FLIGHTLESS BIRD, AMERICAN MOUTH

Artist: Iron and Wine

Genre: Neo-folk

Notable lyrics: 

I was a quick wet boy
Diving too deep for coins
All of your straight blind eyes
Wide on my plastic toys
Then when the cops closed the fair
I cut my long baby hair
Stole me a dog-eared map
And called for you everywhere
Have I found you?
Flightless bird, jealous, weeping
Or lost you?
American mouth
Big bill looming

‘Neofolk, also known as post-folk, apocalyptic folk or dark folk, is a music genre that emerged in the mid-1980’s as an outgrowth of post-punk and post-industrial music, blending acoustic instruments such as guitar and snare drum with elements of industrial music. Neofolk may either be solely acoustic or combine acoustic folk instrumentation with various other sounds.’

It’s been a while since I’ve written about a folk song and this one happens to be an excellent specimen of the kind. The song sounds fairly familiar because it was used as a sound-track in the very infamous vampire-obsession movie, ‘Twilight’.  Guess the sound tracks were one reason to not hate the movie altogether, innit?

Slow and smooth as ever, with an overwhelming tender voice, the song manages to stand apart from general songs like a Holmes signal amidst the vast expanse of the black sea. To be completely fair, the lyrics have certain discrepancies between them; they seem to have been written as different sentences with no correlation, whatsoever, but when merged, it forms a brilliant song. According to genius lyrics,

‘“Flightless Bird, American Mouth” could be about someone who tries to find a lost love. When he finds her, she has become a flightless bird, meant to fly high but grounded, fulfilling none of her youth dreams. Instead, she’s become another pill-wasted American housewife while he’s also a cliché of a fat couch potato watching passively as his life goes by.’

Makes sense doesn’t it? Something written so ordinarily and simple, turns into an extra ordinary and a beautiful song. The tepid and fragile music encapsulates the song and leaves it in a warm little bubble, waiting to bless the ears of another person. The power of supple and wholesome music never fails to release its hold on me and that’s one place I hope to be completely vulnerable, for as long as I breathe.

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