Behind the Lyrics - My Morning Jacket: "Feel You"


(Photo Credit - Danny Clinch)


For this week's article, I decided to go in a different direction. I've been pondering writing an article on "free verse" lyrics for a while, but it wasn't until I asked Alt Revue's Founder for any suggestions, that the song "Feel You" by My Morning Jacket (MMJ) really gave me the material to write on this.


Let's just dive right into the lyrics, shall we?

"Feel You" - My Morning Jacket


"Are we undercover

What's left to see? Trying to discover How it came to be In a past life Feeling loved But now in the present Seeing blood

And all I want to do is feel you And all I want to do is feel you And all I want to do is feel you Feel you Feel you

Whoa, makin' time, to waste time, to feel time Whoa-oh, wash over you Ooh, watching you, watching me Reaching out between the worlds

To feel you, yeah And all I want to do is feel you, yeah

Are we under covers raining blood? REM covers, reign in blood

And all I want to do is feel you And all I want to do is feel you Yeah, yeah, and all I want to do is feel you Feel you Feel you Feel you, yea

Whoa, makin' time, to waste time, to feel time Whoa-oh, wash over you Ooh, watching you, watching me Reaching out between the worlds

To feel you, yeah And all I want to do is feel you, yeah And all I want to do is feel you, yeah And all I want to do is feel you, yeah"

As you can see, the lyrics are very repetitive, and not very clear on their meaning; however, if you listen to the song, the lyrics flow gently with the music, and you get a feeling of peace.


If you are listening to a song and the lyrics are either difficult to discern or are a part of the music (not standing out), you are most likely listening to a free verse lyric.

Free verse is a type of poetry where it is not necessarily required to make sense or rhyme, but there is a theme that holds it together. The more important part is the sound and feeling created by the words together.

A more "mainstream" example of a band using this would be Pearl Jam. If you have ever looked up the lyrics to a Pearl Jam song, I am sure you have been a bit confused. However, it is all about the singing, instruments, beat are all united to create a unique sound for a certain feeling.

My students often ask me when we study poetry - "How do you write free verse?" You close your eyes and feel. It is a very vulnerable form of poetry because you have to be comfortable soul searching and then putting that out into the world.

If you are wondering if this type of song-writing works, just remember how big Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" got. People may not understand your lyrics, but they do understand the rage in that song, and they connect with it.

It isn't for every songwriter, so give it a try. If you need more structure for songs, embrace it, but if you want to try something new, you might want to roll with some free verse.

Until next time.

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