Song of the week: Sparrows by No Bird Sing

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By Patrick

Hello, and welcome to TwoSimpleWriters’ Song Of The Week, this week we review Sparrows by No Bird Sing. No Bird Sing is a hip-hop group from Minnesota, they have released three albums. Sparrows is a song from their self-titled album released in 2009.

Sparrows feels like Kristoff Krane and Joe Horton are having a dialog, exchanging feelings of empyness and sadness. Sparrows to me feels like a metaphor for somekind of a cure to these feelings of emptyness.

“There’s nothing to know, there’s no one to miss, The longer I roam the colder it gets, Alone; slowly I grow with a hole in my chest, the size of my head”

The author feels like he is missing something important in his life. “I grow with a hole in my chest, the size of my head” could mean that as the author lost his heart (or something else important from the inside), he also lost a part of his thoughts (like love).

“Take it in, breathe it out, Let the sparrows in your house, Show them where the attic is and let them be to set up shop, Watch them sing, while you dance, While you’re cooking, while you break shit, Never let them go, it’s their escape, they’re escaping”

The author suggests to let the sparrows in to your head (attic), so the sparrows can sing (heal) for you no matter what happens. So the sparrows are pretty much something like guardian angels.

Joe Horton and Kristoff Krane both have great flow and a strong balanced voice. Kristoff Krane is one of my favorite hip-hop lyricist and Sparrows is really Krane-ish, in a good way of course. Sparrows is written in a poetic and abstract style, i expecially like the dialog-ish style where Horton and Krane go back and fourth. More than ofter I find myself humming along with the chorus as it is so well crafted and catchy. The beat is also incredible, it has the perfect amount of tension and it builds up beatifully to the chorus.

Overall this is one of the best No Bird Sing songs, the beautiful beat and lyrics create a captivating atmosphere that brings you back you to this song time after another.

Listen to the song here:
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No Bird Sings Facebook:
https://facebook.com/nobirdsing/

Song of the Week: Thousands are Sailing by The Pogues

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By Franz

We ain’t gonna talk about specific types of songs at this blog, it doesn’t matter is it new or old, metal or Irish traditional-folk-punk, as long as it’s a song we have something to talk about. So today, my pick for the song of the week is Thousands are Sailing by the Irish folk-punk band The Pogues.

Listen to it by clicking here!

The Pogues formed in 1982, after Shane MacGowan and some of his friends (Shane was from the punk scene) decided to mix to genres, Irish folk and this new music called punk. MacGowan was from an Irish family (though lived in England) and his musical roots came from Irish music, but also from the punk scene of the late ’70s. The name Pogues comes from the Irish term “pogue mahone” which means “kiss my ass”. Their first album, Red Roses For Me, in 1984 was somewhat of a success, at least in England and, of couse, Ireland. It got pretty good critical reviews and at least put The Pogues on the map. It’s a decent record, it’s very heavy on being Irish and most of the musical components are strictly folk, and only MacGowan’s weird, somewhat terrible vocals are punk. But it’s a fine record. The next year they released another album, Rum, Sodomy and The Lash (produced by Elvis Costello) and that became a huge hit, pretty much internationally. It’s now considered a classic and one of their best records, and yeah, it’s pretty amazing. It’s more original and mixes the genres better than the first one and it has some of MacGowan’s best songs, not only lyrically but also musically. It’s one of those records that you can’t help but tap your leg with it.

But, the song I’m gonna talk about is from their third record, which is also my favorite from them, their 1988 If I should Fall from the Grace with God. And the song surprisingly isn’t written by MacGowan (who wrote a lot of their stuff), but written by their guitarist, Phil Chevron, who proves himself as a talented song writer. Thousands are Sailing is about the Irish immigrating to America in midst of a famine, simple as that. But the words are so powerful and moving. And because of it’s subject matter, it’s pretty relevant right now, considering all the immigrants coming to Europe. It’s not only about immigrating to a new land, but also keeping your heritage. It asks the Irish-Americans “do you feel Irish and if yes, how so?”. It’s not negative about the immigration, rather it’s a sad song for those who miss their homeland. “Do the old songs makes you cry? Did you count the years and months, or did your tear drops quickly dry?”. It’s about being proud where you come from and staying Irish even when you’re not living there.

There’s a line that always gets me, it’s “Everywhere we go we celebrate, the land that makes us refugees”, it’s just so relevant. Nobody’s happy being a refugee, everybody just wants to survive, but also every single immigrant wants go to back to their country.

Musically I love this song, as well. It starts off very melancholic (which is does stay), it somehow remind me of a very misty night, sailing away. The echoing guitars, the slow build up with the flute and then it stops to hear MacGowan’s sorrowful voice. Now, MacGowan can’t sing technically, he sounds drunk (probably because he is) and mumbles most of the words, but it works most of the time and especially here you hear anger and regret in his voice. I love the drum-heavy chorus, it’s just so epic and bouncy and when the banjo hits afterwards, it’s so fucking awesome. That banjo line after MacGowan shouts “And we dance!” is so lovely. Musically it’s a powerful, melancholy song that works perfectly with the sad, haunting lyrics, creating a beautiful, tear-jerking atmosphere.

If you’re interested in The Pogues, I would recommend with If I should fall from the Grace with God for the first album you should listen to, especially the title track, it gives you a pretty good idea what the Pogues are all about.  Thousands are Sailing is one of the bands masterpieces and truly an epic song about a very relevant subject matter. It’s a great song by a great band.