October 04, 2003


I have Dave Matthews' song Gravedigger looping. I can't turn it off.

Not a radio listener, I first heard this song on last week, probably later than the rest of you. I bought the album last night, based on it and on my big thumb's up for DM and da band's When the World Ends off of Matrix Reloaded's soundtrack album.

I had a Dave Matthews Band cassette - Under the Table and Dreaming. It was often background music while studying (grad school) or something playing behind a conversation. When I lived with Adam, we always had music on - that's his thing.

So I was somewhat surprised how much I liked these two. I played the live CD first last night - not bad, not bad at all. And then I put on Some Devil. It's been in the CD player since - probably about 5 times through now. And then at about two today, I put Gravedigger on single-song repeat, trying to isolate what it is that's tugging at me. Here we go.

First, musically, the gradual build-up of instrumentation and volume, thus the emotional swell. Nicely done without being overdone. Second, the build in emotion of the mini obituaries that Matthews is offering. First, we've got Cyrus and his legend. "Made his great-grandchildren believe you could live to 103." Nicely said. Then the equating of 103 with forever. Equally nice.

The chorus, soft the first time, then building.

Muriel. "She lost both of her babies in the Second Great War." World fits here, too, syllable wise. I'm a wordplay freak - Second Great war works beautifully - never heard it coined that way, though I often hear WWI was "the Great War," one of my favorite books being Solider of the Great War.

Then the nursery rhyme - okay, that's a pet peeve. Ani DiFranco is always off on Rockabye Baby, and that irritates me - it's usually a detriment to her work. But, here, I'm okay with it, really - the innocence, and then "ashes to ashes" - of course that's fitting.

And then the whammo. Musically, it's very loud here.

    Little Mikey Parsons, 67 to 75
    He rode his bike like the devil until the day he died
    when he grows up he wants to be Mr. Vertigo on the flying trapeze
    oh, 1940 to 1992
"Mr. Vertigo on the flying trapeze." Are you sure Dave's not been dining with Tori Amos? I really liked that - the image it put in my head. I can see and feel this man, and it seems accurate that he wants to "grow up" after he dies.

Full lyrics.

I can count on one hand the songs I'd put on a single-song loop, having done it. The list includes this song, Tori Amos' Horses, Sheryl Crow's Do What We Can, and The Church's Under the Milky Way Tonight.

They say that your demons can't go there. Indeed. Wistful.


Posted by hln at October 4, 2003 10:46 PM | Music | TrackBack

I'm not really sure about "Gravedigger." It's yet to appeal to me the way Dave's previous songs with the band did. Maybe it'll grow on me.

Oh, and by-the-way, I like the new digs.

Posted by: Matthew at October 5, 2003 12:02 AM

This one is for you:

Posted by: The Meatriarchy at October 5, 2003 01:26 PM

Been searching the web trying to better understand grave digger. Maybe I've been looking at it wrong. I thought it said "or 1940 to 1992", so I've been trying to figure out who 1940 to 1992 may have been and thier relavence to either Mikey or to Dave. Any suggestions? email me with them. thanks, nice site. :)

Posted by: Karam at October 23, 2003 12:09 PM

Hey my name is Shaye Parsons and well I was born in 1975, could I be the recarnation of Mickey?:)

Posted by: Shaye Parsons at October 26, 2003 05:17 AM