...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Monday, November 13, 2006

New contest: Win a lithograph of Damien Rice's album cover artwork

Okay kids, a new contest for you. I have a 14" x 14" lithograph print of the cover of Damien Rice's new album, 9, which comes out tomorrow (Nov 14):

To win this fine piece of lifestyle decor, equally at home in a dormitory setting or in a fireside study, leave me a comment with the following: What is your favorite Damien Rice lyric? Why? The answer I like the best by Friday wins the lithograph. Have at it.

Listen to the whole album on the Warner Brothers media site (the studio version of "Accidental Babies" is even more quietly devastating than the live version I had posted earlier), and watch the little video dealie too if you like.

Here's a repost of the fantastic b-side to the "9 Crimes" single, and a live version of that song:

"Rat Within The Grain" - Damien Rice

"9 Crimes" (live on KFOG) - Damien Rice

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At November 13, 2006 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Professor

"From the lover's in love at the centre of stage yeah
Loving is fine if you have plenty of time
For walking on stilts at the edge of your mind
Loving is good if your dick's made of wood
And the dick left inside only half understood her"

Damien and his round after round of advice. A poet till the end.

At November 13, 2006 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From "I Remember":

It's two lyrics (OK so this may disqualify me, but i can't help it)

I remember it well
Taxied out of a storm
To watch you perform
And my ships were sailing


Come all ye lost
Dive into moss
I hope that my sanity covers the cost
To remove the stain of my love
Paper maché

Damien, like many great songwriters, but Damien especially, has this uncanny ability to expose both sides of being in love and being in a relationship. The dark and light, the happy and the pissed off.

This song, and these lyrics in particular show that contrast is such stark comparison it's unsettling yet comforting somehow. Oh, and if you have seen him play this live, you know just how powerful lyrics can be in a live setting...sorry for the ramble, but i just remember this being among the more amazing moments (though there are always many) from seeing Damien live.

At November 14, 2006 2:32 AM, Blogger Ledbelly said...

now why cant you be doing this for pearl jam or ryan adams, i'm afraid i havn't spent too much time with mr. rice to know

At November 14, 2006 3:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From 'Amie' on 'O':
'Nothing unusual, nothing's changed
Just a little older that's all
You know when you've found it,
There's something I've learned
'Cause you feel it when they take it away'

Even Joni Mitchell in Big Yellow Taxi couldn't capture the beauty and pain of realising too late how much you have loved as perfectly as Damien does here. There's a reason this song is my fourth favourite of all time (Yeah, I rank them...).

At November 14, 2006 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From "Lonelily":

"It's one thing being cheated
But you took him all the way through your bed"

I'll keep it short but sweet. Anyone that's been cheated on can relate to this feeling. COMPLETE DEVESTATION. I still get chills(in a bad way) whenever I hear this line

At November 14, 2006 9:31 AM, Blogger The Hensons said...

From "Amie":

Amie, come sit on my wall
And read me the story of O

Because that is my wife's name, and she can always sit on my wall

At November 14, 2006 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the album version of Accidental Babies:
"Well I know I make you cry
And I know sometimes you wanna die
But do you really feel alive without me?"
This just clicks if you've ever been dumpes for another person, and you can't get over. It's the last desperate plead from a man who's sure that his lost love still loves him.

At November 14, 2006 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story actually a bit too personal, but the lyrics are from "Delicate". Many years ago I left a girl due to religion, and when I met her again years later, she gave me the album and pointed out that this song made her think of me:

"And why do you sing Hallelujah
If it means nothing to you
Why do you sing with me at all?"

Needless to say, I regret leaving her to this day. The sad story of lost love. The lithograph wold be a great gift that I could give to her... And maybe regain love?


At November 14, 2006 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like time, there's always time
On my mind
So pass me by, I'll be fine
Just give me time

Older Chests - a song that speaks of change and how people lose interest in life and living. Damien suppossedly hates change (I'm resistant on change myself) but it's inevitable and part of life. Sad, true and the ending gives hope. It's the epitome of a Damien tune. That's why it's my favorite lyric :)

At November 14, 2006 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favourite lyric is taken from Cheers Darlin'.

"You gave me three cigarettes to smoke my tears away"

i won't go into detail, but this song i could always relate to when i went through a roughpatch. being 16 at the time, it was good to know that an older soul could suffer such pain from seeing somebody with the girl you know is meant to be with you and you'd die for. it happened to me, it's probably happened to you, but this lyric just strikes a chord in my heart, and makes me reflect back on the situation i was in and overcame.

At November 14, 2006 11:32 AM, Blogger Honey said...

From "Insane":

"Should I go, if she calls out my name?
And if she bleeds, should I wipe up the stain?
And if I'm low, can I drown in this rain?
I guess I'm no good. Guess I'm insane...

I hate when you say that I never fight for you...
Sometimes you're breathing all over my skin...
You always end up much closer than close...
That's where I give in."

I saw this performed in NYC a couple of years ago, (it was the show opener) and it literally took the breath out of my lungs. An intensely powerful, raw, grating, and lyrically compelling song.

Here it is, worth a listen:
(Live from the Beacon Theatre 5.3.04)


At November 14, 2006 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LONELILY - O B-sides

I gave me away
I could have knocked off the evening
But I lonelily loomed her into my bone
You let me down
There's no use deceiving
Neither of us wanna be alone

if it wasn't for the lyrics, i've always thought this would be a great first dance song at a wedding... the music has such a hopeful sound, but the lyrics to me are completely indifferent...


At November 14, 2006 11:42 AM, Blogger Bluestars3 said...

From Sand:

"I don't wanna pray for what is not right
And I don't wanna beg for what is not mine
I don't wanna rock the road between
dreams and worldly things
I could charge, and I could really try
But I don't wanna be the brave one
In a senseless fight
I, I, I just wanna be here tonight"

I love this bit because it is all about wanting to follow destiney but wanting to follow your heart. About loving someone so much, you would do anything to be with them.

At November 14, 2006 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Professor & La Fille Danse (Live at Cornucopia)

"Cried when she should and laughed when she could. Closer to God is the one who's in LOVE. And I walk away, cuz I can't. Too many options may kill a man."


At November 14, 2006 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then go, then go
Then go, then go

I would've lied for you
I would've cried for you
I crossed the line for you
I would've died for you...

Damien can sing anywhere on a spectrum of emotions. Moreso than not, he is at the dark side of it, and this song is at the very end for me. The last lines are so helpless and he is saying, 'then go' but the song is layered in love that you can't help but feel the emotion whether you've been in a similar situation or not. The version with Lisa singing and Damien with backing vocals (live I might add) is simply the best live recording because of its lack of a single flaw.

At November 14, 2006 1:27 PM, Blogger StatQuo said...

Elephant from 9

"What's the point of this song? Or even singing?
You've already gone, why am I clinging?
Well I could throw it out, and I could live without
And I could do it all for you
I could be strong
Tell me if you want me to lie
'Cause this has got to die”

The build up to this moment is amazing, he almost breaks down during the song, hurt and broken, and lets the anger take the upper hand at the end.

For me personally, the love of my life, fell in love with another man and left me for him earlier this year. The anger, the despair, the lies... and still one wants to cling on to anything that gives some hope of getting back together...

At November 14, 2006 2:20 PM, Blogger moon said...

From "Accidental Babies"
Well I know I make you cry
And I know sometimes you wanna die
But do you really feel alive without me?
If so, be free
If not, leave him for me
Before one of us has accidental babies
For we are in love

His choice of words are so exquisitely simple that when i've seen him perform this verse live, his eyes have been closed.

At November 14, 2006 2:22 PM, Blogger american aquarium drinker said...

From Older Chests:
Older gents sit on the fence
With their cap in hand
Looking grand
They watch their city change
Children scream, or so it seems,
Louder than before
Out of doors, and into stores with bigger names
Mama tried to wash their faces
But these kids they lost their graces
And Daddy lost at the races too many times

Older Chests is musically the most Leonard Cohen-ed song of Damien Rice.
And those lyrics Older Chests doesn't talk about love, about friendship, about the other things that you can find on 'O'...
It talks about the loser, the daddy who lost too many times and his child, who was born to lose too many times too, the child who already lost something his mother can't bring back...
It talks about losing something that cannot come back, about leaving things behind, about seeing other things change, about hoping there's still time for having those things back, but even about feeling useless as the time goes by...

At November 14, 2006 2:36 PM, Blogger aikin said...

I'm with Kyle. I know little about Damien Rice. That is a cool album cover, though. I'm jealous of whoever wins!

At November 14, 2006 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just repeating somebody elses choice but love these lines, a perfect summation of the way Ireland has changed since the Celtic Tiger, with more homeless people being passed by, older gents watching their city change, and children being spoilt rotten by parents trying to ease their guilt over never being around.

Also the first time I played this song to my nephew when he was 2 he fell asleep on my shoulder so it always brings a smile to my face.

"Like time, there's always time
On my mind
So pass me by, I'll be fine
Just give me time

Older gents sit on the fence
With their cap in hand
Looking grand
They watch their city change

Children scream, or so it seems,
Louder than before
Out of doors, and into stores with bigger names"

diarmuidg "at" gmail.com

At November 14, 2006 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the new disc, "The Animals Were Gone":

"I love your depression, I love your double chin"

You really miss someone when you even remember the negatives fondly.

At November 14, 2006 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Do you brush your teeth before you kiss?"

-Accidental Babies-

I love this lyric, it alway mkes me smile to myself!! :) I love the idea of two lovers wanting to be so fresh, so clean, so "minty" when they kiss! And when kissing someone with a minty fresh breath after they have just brushed their teeth, makes you tingle, and thats what the lyrics does to me!!

At November 14, 2006 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think damien has a brilliant ability to make the crudest subjects sound so brilliantly eligant. There are many expamles of him doing this that i conciderd choosing as my favourite lyric, but it in the end was none of them, my favourite is more suttle, and more peaceful than "Lovgin is good if your dicks made of wood"

My favourite lyric... or the lyric that puts me in that state (you know the one) is propably "She's always dressed in white, she's like an angle and she burns our eyes"

Why? i dont know...

Thats the beauty. I know what this lyric means to me, but to put it in words would ruin that beauty.

At November 14, 2006 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And so it is
Just like you said it would be
Life goes easy on me
Most of the time
"the blower's daughter"

- the simplicity, the relatibility.....who can't listen to the beginning of that song and think.."thats the story of my life..."

-christopher joyce (joycecb@muohio.edu)

At November 14, 2006 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damien Who?

At November 14, 2006 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I love your depression and I love your double chin"

From The animals were gone

If someone told this to me I'd burst into tears...

At November 14, 2006 6:53 PM, Blogger bob said...

"there’s still a little bit of your song in my ear
there’s still a little bit of your words i long to hear
you step a little closer to me
so close that i can't see what's going on"

every time I hear this lyric - I think of someone very special I lost -- she was sorta like being in the warmth of a blinding sun -- after it goes away, there is still a little bit of you that will always yearn for it again

At November 14, 2006 9:21 PM, Blogger R-O-Dub said...

Alright, since I was an English major in undergrad, I feel compelled to fully explain what makes my lyric choice good, which can really only be done by explaining the significance on the song as a whole. So, I’m apologizing in advance for lecturing…but the lyric is from “The Professor” so maybe it’s fitting…here goes:

The song itself is obviously about a break-up, but it's the way Damien sets it up that's great…

" Well I don't know if I'm wrong
Cause she's only just gone
Here's to another relationship
Bombed by excellent breed of gametes disease
I'm sure when I'm older, I'll know what that means…"

He's in a self reflective state, about a new relationship that he's just ended with his own self destruction. The line about the gametes disease refers to his inability to keep a relationship working- gamete is the union of male and female cells, his disease being that his cells always join with the female's and kill it, or ruin things in the relationship. Which is a intellectual line (from the professor), but he's ironic about it with the next, saying "when I'm older, I'll know what that means."

Which is also the theme for the song…he's "the professor" but he doesn't know what things mean…he never has answers to any of the questions he asks.

"Here's to the man with his face in the mud
And an overcast play just taken away
From the lover's in love at the center of stage…"

He drinks/salutes to the guy in the theatre who's acting like an ass drawing attention away, when the attention is supposed to be the two actors on stage. Which also plays into his Shakespearean theme of life as a play. The girl always playing her part- "cried when she should, and laughed when she could."

And the best line:

"Loving is fine if you have plenty of time
For walking on stilts at the edge of your mind…"

Which speaks directly to how hard love is…and how much work it takes to make a relationship work. Which is too much for our singer to accomplish…because it's not just being able to walk at the edge of your mind, but walking on stilts…obviously harder…probably too hard or too much trouble for what it's worth.

Alright, so skipping ahead to save time/boredom…the end of the song is great. The song is about him sitting around and pondering the freshly ended relationship…which he finishes off with some "French wine and cheese" like a multi course dinner he just ate…a sort of simple, casual ending to the relationship.

The last part is very poetic, choosing to give the only emotional line of the song in a different language, French, in order to signify the importance of it, but at the same time not to let just anyone average schmuck who hears the song comprehend it.

All in all a wonderfully written song, that I could go on and on about, but that's enough…

Let me know what you think.

At November 14, 2006 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kissed your mouth, and back
And that's all I need

Id love to find that one single person that can invoke that kind of raw emotion out of me. Where a touch, a word, or a glance is all that I would need to relive that kind of passion over an over each time.

To me, this is a very powerful line.

At November 14, 2006 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops, just in case

torres#3 email - jla25@hotmail.com

At November 15, 2006 1:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And she may rise, if I sing you down
And she may wisely cling to the ground

At November 15, 2006 1:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This one line, from Cannonbal:

'Love thaught me to lie'

Cause love will make you do stuff, stuff you thought you'd never do for anything or anyone, stuff you're not proud off.
But then again... it's for love, right? Right?

At November 15, 2006 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From "Prague"

Pack my suit in a bag,
Im all dressed for Prague...

I love the way he rhymes bag and Prague. He pronounces Prague in the song the same way my 84 year old grandmother does.

At November 15, 2006 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Cannonball:

"Still a little bit of your taste in my mouth.
Still a little bit of you laced with my doubt.
Still a little hard to say what's going on."

Ahhh. The beginning of a relationship. The day after that first date with someone you've loved for a long time.

The excitement laced in uncertainty. Does she really want me? Did we really hook up? I can't screw this up. I can't.

These lyrics so perfectly sum up the insecurity and vulnerability to which any person who's ever loved can relate.

At November 15, 2006 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“La fille danse quand elle joue avec moi et je pense que je l'aime des fois le silence, n'ose pas dis-donc quand on est ensemble mettre les mots sur la petite dodo”

“The girl dances, when she plays with me, and I think that I like it, there are times of silence, I do not dare speak: so, when we are together, words become small”

This is my interpretation of what he means. He shows uncertainty: “I think that I like it” – the feeling at the beginning of a relationship when you really don’t know. And then I love the line: “When we are together, words become small” – it just paints a picture of his inability to love the right way. Which is what the whole song is about: the inability to make love work.


At November 15, 2006 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't heard the new one yet, so I'll have to choose from 'O'.

"And I die when you mention his name
And I lied, I should have kissed you when we were runnin' in the rain

I die when he comes around to take you home
I'm too shy, I should have kissed you when we were alone"

- Cheers Darlin'

Both of these really capture those "missed opportunities" in life and love. Those rare moments that come along and you know you should follow your heart (and often your whole being) and capture them, but you dont. You hesitate, you waffle, you listen to that doubtful little voice in your head and then, its too late. All you can do is watch that magical moment - that possibility of true love - pass painfully by. All you can do is think of what could have been, if only youd had the "balls" to step up and embrace that ephemeral spark. Its a lesson we could probably all learn from.


At November 16, 2006 10:08 AM, Blogger muruch said...

Since "still a little bit of your taste in my mouth" has already been taken, I'll say "unplayed pianos are often by a window in a room where nobody loved goes". Though the song is about Aung San Suu Kyi's unjust imprisonment, those lyrics could be about anyone that feels unloved and forgotten.

At November 16, 2006 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think "Cross-eyed Bear" (off of a War Child charity album) has some of the best lyrics he's ever written.

I broke your doll
It was cross eyed, that's all
I only wanted to help it see straight
A half broken moon
Sooner than soon
I was up on your wall
Smaller than small
In a half-painted frame
The wood wouldn't stain
I hope that reminds you
Of the part you couldn't change in me


So push me I'll fall
If you pull me I'll drown
If you're gonna be nailin me down
I won't rise again
I won't rise again

I'm not God, I'm not God
I love you but I'm not God...

It's such a simple song. It's not one that has a thousand layers of metaphors you have to sift through before you find its profound message. Actually, I'm not sure this song even has some profound message. Instead, it's simple and honest and about something that a lot of modern popular artist's have decided to leave behind: reality.

People aren't perfect, they're fragile, even. They can be hurt to the point where they can't get back to who they were before. Even if you have good intentions and a heart overflowing with love, there's an immortality, and a vincibility that comes with being human.

I think it's good to be reminded of that once in a while.

"I love you, but I'm not God"

Thanks for setting up this contest :) You can reach me at: leena_1357@hotmail.com

At November 16, 2006 6:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops. sorry, that was supposed to read: "there's a mortality, and a vincibility that comes with being human"


At November 16, 2006 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From "9", Rat Within The Grain, great B-Side, by the way...

The chorus:

"I wouldn't want you to want to be wanted by me.
I wouldn't want you to worry you'd be drowned within my sea.
I only wanted to be wonderful, and wonderful is true.
In truth, I only really wanted to be wanted by you."

These words speak to the inequities and insecurities in relationships about which we rarely speak, yet Damien makes it seem so simple and sings it so beautifully. Who doesn't feel like they give and give and strive to make a relationship easy, yet all they really want to say is they want to be needed as well.

I have to correlate to another lyric which makes me feel this way. It reminds me of Peter Gabriel "Love To Be Loved" and the chorus:

"And in this moment, I need to be needed
With this darkness all around me, I like to be liked
In this emptiness and fear, I want to be wanted
'Cause I love to be loved
I love to be loved..."

-JBS (jbs@sfsu.edu)

At November 16, 2006 11:56 PM, Blogger Ben O said...

From "I Remember" on O

Come all ye lost
Dive into moss
I hope that my sanity covers the cost
To remove the stain of my love
Paper maché

Oh come all ye reborn
Blow off my horn
I'm driving real hard
This is love
This is porn
God would forgive me
But I
I whip myself scorn, scorn

Probably the most powerful lyrics in any song ever. It still gives me chills every time I listen to it.

At November 22, 2006 4:52 PM, Blogger Sibek said...

“There’s still a little bit of your face I haven’t kissed"

What a beautiful twist on words. More obvious lyrics might refer specifically to her lips, cheek, skin etc. But when I hear this line, its yearning to love every piece of her so much that there was always more of her left to love, left to kiss. Most of us have felt that strongly at some point in our lives… this line itself, if only for a moment, takes you to that place.

At September 24, 2009 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


From Cross Eyed Bear by Damien Rice.

It just conveys the genius of Rice through his lyrics. The sacrifices we make for love sometimes leaves us bruised. The reality is that the fragility of human emotion just shows that we could only take so much.


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