Friday, November 10, 2006

Lonely One

As a follow up to my previous post, I thought I would tie it in to a couple of the songs by Mark Heard. Compare the development of his earlier song "Lonely One" to his later work which expressed the angst of an older generation (expressed through the eyes of a single woman) in the song "She's Not Afraid." The earlier song has an obvious reference to the "woman at the well" story in the gospels. The later song is much more contemporary in its expression of the feelings of many Americans today.

by Mark Heard
Lonely one
Hard times inside you
I have seen you crying
Lonely one
Dry eyes can't hide you
When the truth draws nigh

Lonely one
you're such an actress
Smiling with your makeup
Lonely one
you're out of practice
And smiles are hard to fake

You're not in love, not even with your lovers
You've thrown your heart to the wind
Oh lonely one, when will you ever bother
To reach for the hand of a friend

Lonely one
Run from the shadows
Darkness lies in waiting
Lonely one
You know it matters
That you find your way
Oh lonely one

Lonely one
No one to talk to
Cords of silence bind you
Lonely one
Gentle whispers call you
Seek and you will find
Oh lonely one
Oh lonely one

From Stop the Dominoes Thanks to the Mark Heard Lyric Project

A beautiful song, to be sure (the lamenting melody with the fiddles adds to the effect); but compare his more developed song with the lonliness theme later:

by Mark Heard.

She was trapped in a photograph
When times were better
Saying cheese with a frozen laugh
When times were better
How she wishes she could thaw that scene
Make it real and not just some camera's dream
And bring back the places
And the feeling and the faces
From the graves where they've been

She's not afraid of sticks and stones
She's not afraid of thunderstorms
She's not afraid of smart bombs blowing
The world in little pieces
But she's afraid of a life alone
She is afraid of an empty home
She is afraid that her faith has flown
Afraid of losing memories

She was the captain of her maiden flights
When times were better
Skywriting with the smoke of life
When times were better
And now she wishes she could beat her wings
And sail back on a innocent breeze
Bring back the freedom of believing
In the decency of anything


How she wishes she could strangle time
Put it in a prison for stealing her blind
Bring back her riches
From the rubble of her wishes
Where she's let them lie


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