Inside the songwriting brain of John Darnielle.

edited June 2011 in Lyrics I Love
Admittedly I'm a huge Mountain Goats fan, but even if you aren't this brief article in The Atlantic does a great job of going inside the mind of a great song writer.

I honestly had no idea the second verse of "Dance Music" was about being arrested for possession of heroin, but looking at the lyrics now I can't figure out how I didn't put that together. Hindsight and all.

I think I'm going to have to queue up The Sunset Tree next.



  • Thanks Craig, this is fascinating. The Sunset Tree was their first album I ever heard and still my favorite.
  • Same here. I guess that makes us fake Mountain Goat fans, because the real fans only listen to the early lo-fi stuff.

  • edited June 2011
    i haven't gotten around to the article yet, but yeah, darnielle is a brilliant lyricist, with a great eye for detail (another great eye for detail? ghostface killa, but that's another genre/story). i like his early stuff a lot. check out his covers for the sign and sail on, where he adds his own special lyric:
    you come to comfort me
    but i don't need your sympathy
    and the way you look at me, well it's condescending.
    i feel my stomach churn
    and didn't you ever learn
    not to tell someone something ifyou don't mean it
    i gave you my heart and i tried to make you happy
    you gave me nothing in return
    you know it ain't so hard to say, 'would you please just go away?'
  • I would never call anyone a fake fan, but I highly recommend diving into his lo-fi back catalog. I love his newer material, too (The Sunset Tree is phenomenal) but All Hail West Texas is one of my favorite albums of all time.
  • Oh, I have quite a bit of the old lo-fi stuff. Just prefer the new stuff.

  • Sunset Tree is the only one I have of theirs. Last played in 2006 - yikes! I'll give it another spin. I dont think I had started my itunes rating system back then.
  • i actually like his lo-fi odds-and-sods collections a lot, e.g., bitter melon farm; protein source of the future; and ghana.
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