your story is killing me

J_Marinelli_20170912

There are songs I love because they’re irresistibly catchy, and others I love because they instantly evoke a particular mood. Oddly enough, even though I’d like to consider myself a poet, I’m not necessarily drawn to a song for its lyrics alone.

Occasionally all three of the above align, and a song remains stuck in my head and in my psyche far longer than what most reasonable people might consider normal. Case in point is the song “Hey Lock Haven”, originally performed by Morgantown, West Virginia’s Braille Drivers back in 2001. I was immediately struck by the band’s Hüsker Dü meets Americana sound, and immediately downloaded the track from the Insound.com website. The song was not only powerful and melodic, but it told a story.

I never took a close look at the lyrics until very recently. The Braille Drivers are long gone, but Lexington, Ketucky one-man band J. Marinelli (pictured above) covered the song in 2014, and captured the lyrics as well. They describe a transformative event, but they never tell you what it is. According to WikiPedia, there were several floods in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania over the years, but none that would seem to inspire a remembrance like this:

Lately she’s been tried
Eyes me with a tepid longing
Yes deep down I’m too far gone
To upheave what’s placed upon me

I guess I’ve no choice
But to suspect
All that I’ve been shown
By surveying this here wreckage
On my own

Will I convalesce
Until all the roads are clear of traffic
Or am I free to ride
On this big bus going nowhere fast

I guess I’ve no choice
But to suspect
All that I’ve been shown
By surveying this here wreckage
On my own

On my own
Same old story
Nothing ventured
Nothing lost
My own
Years ago
My wisdom
Came at such a cost

So sow me to those orchards greener
Lock Haven
To heal until my wanderlust
Takes hold again
And there I’ll lick my wounds
Until they bid me go
Bid me go
Bid me go
Bid me go again

Hey Lock Haven
Your story is killing me

I can only guess what it means. Maybe that’s the point.

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One Response to your story is killing me

  1. Matthew Paul says:

    “Oddly enough, even though I’d like to consider myself a poet, I’m not necessarily drawn to a song for its lyrics alone.” Couldn’t agree more, Paul; in fact, I’m terrible at hearing and remembering lyrics and rarely realise how good any particular song’s lyrics are until after many plays.

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