SONG: “The Road We Wander”

SONG:

“The Road We Wander.” [Download]
(To download: double right-click & “Save As”)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Based on “Monarch migration may become extinct,” Laboratory Equipment, 30 January 2014, as used in the post “Monarch migration may be over. Forever.”

ABSTRACT: This song coincided with me listening to a lot of new Balkan music. I decided to make a song as if a monarch father (Moldavian? Macedonian? Romanian? Romany?) was talking to his children. (It meandered in the making, but that was the original idea.)

The thing with migrating monarchs is that it’s only every fourth generation that makes the super-long trek. Most of them live for about a week, then these kids come out who keep flying for six months, going all the way from Canada to Mexico.

Or, well, they used to, before the pesticides and suburbs.

I had the music down for this weeks before the lyrics. Not sure why, since I kinda knew what I’d be writing about before the music happened.

I tried to play a game with the words. There’s this thing that I’m sure I’ve heard songwriters do where you shape a line so that the listener expects a particular rhyming word – some typical songwriting cliche, like “…I am haunted, you’re all that I wanted” – but then switching out the rhyme to some other word, like “…I am haunted, you’re all that I knew.” I don’t know if there’s a proper name for that game. Seems like there should be a Greek word, like zeugma (which isn’t that) or chiasmus (which isn’t that either) or something.

In the end, I think the lyrics sort of sound like they were translated from Hungarian, or Ukrainian, or something. (By the way, there’s an allusion in there to a kind of cute Ukranian children’s song.)

Lyrics:
Inch by inch, the summer sun will light
The road we wander on high
Hour by hour, over farmers’ fields our flight
As our great-great-grandparents did

Wing by wing, we settle for the night
Twig and leaf, we cover side by side

Wing by wing, we settle for the night
From the road we wander on high
Twig and leaf, we cover side by side
As our great-great-grandparents did

Hills and plains, they hardly seem undone
Trees and streams, following the sun

=
CH:
By these stars, no more lids on children’s jars
And milkweed blooming in their yards
By this road, rain will fall and wind will blow
As our great-great-grandparents would know.
(And our ancestry will show.)
=
Hills and plains, they hardly seem undone
From the road we wander on high
Trees and streams, following the sun
As our great-great-grandparents did.

Mile by mile, the land is growing strange
Toil and snare, keep your wits and mark the change

Mile by mile, the land is growing strange
On the road we wander on high
Toil and snare, keep your wits and mark the change
As our great-great-grandparents did

Inch by inch, the summer sun will light
Hour by hour, over farmers’ fields, our flight

=
CH:
By these stars, no more lids on children’s jars
And milkweed blooming in their yards
By this road, rain will fall and wind will blow
As our great-great-grandparents would know.
(And our ancestry will show.)
=

Inch by inch, the summer sun will light
The road we wander on high
Hour by hour, over farmers’ fields our flight
As our great-great-grandparents did

The road we wander on high
As our great-great-grandparents did

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply