Letters Have No Arms have packed their bags, put their travel hats on, and moved to a new land!

You should be automatically redirected to the post you were looking for (yes, the same one!) in 5 seconds. If not, visit
and please don't forget to update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Elliott Smith R.I.P.

I still remember where I was when I heard that Elliott Smith had died. I had woken up that morning in a bunk bed in a youth hostel in Lausanne, looking out over Lake Geneva, on a cloudy and dark day. I got the news on a communal computer in the lounge. I was drinking coffee.
I spent the afternoon of that day in the Collection de l'Art Brut. Looking at works from Henry Darger and Willem van Genk in a deserted gallery felt somehow appropriate on that rainy and sad day... Lonely, solitary and often tormented figures, who created magic from just that...yet were either unaware of what they were doing, what beauty they were creating, or were simply unable to derive any sense of joy, or peace from it themselves.
I had seen Elliott play at the Reading Festival a few years before, when his Figure 8 album had just been released, and he played to a very full and very enthusiastic tent. By that point he had become bigger than he probably ever thought he would become, bigger probably than he ever wanted to become. He didn't seem all too comfortable with the adoration.
And adored he was, and remains to this day.
 Yet while he gave so much to others, he seemed unable to give anything to himself. 
Five years have passed since that day in Lausanne. 
Elliott Smith R.I.P.
It's virtually impossible to choose Elliott's best songs, but here are a few personal favourites: 
Going to walk, walk, walk
Four more blocks
Plus the one in my brain

I could make you satisfied in everything you do
All your secret wishes could right now be coming true
Drink up, baby, stay up all night
The things you could do, you won't but you might
The potential you'll be that you'll never see
The promises you'll only make
Drink up with me now and forget all about
The pressure of days, do what I say
And I'll make you okay and drive them away
The images stuck in your head
People you've been before that you don't want around anymore
That push and shove and won't bend to your will
I'll keep them still
Drink up, baby, look at the stars
I'll kiss you again between the bars
Where I'm seeing you there with your hands in the air
Waiting to finally be caught
Drink up one more time and I'll make you mine
Keep you apart, deep in my heart
Separate from the rest, where I like you the best
And keep the things you forgot
The people you've been before that you don't want around anymore
That push and shove and won't bend to your will
I'll keep them still  
The spin of the earth impaled a silhouette
Of the sun on the steeple
And I got to hear the same sermon
All the time now from you people
Why are you staring into outer space, crying?
Just because you came across it, and lost it

Everything reminds me of her 
I'm not what's missing from your life now
I could never be the puzzle pieces
They say that God makes problems
Just to see what you can stand
Before you do as the devil pleases
And give up the thing you love

But no one deserves it

The first time I saw you
I knew it would never last
I'm not half what I wish I was
I'm so angry, I don't think it'll ever pass
And I was bad news for you, just because
I never meant to hurt you 
Pitseleh (XO, 1998) 

But I knew that he'd never forget her
While her memory worked in reverse
To keep her safe from herself
And, oh my, nothing else could've been done
She made her life a lie
So she might never have to know anyone
Made her life the lie you know
What I used to be will pass away and then you'll see
That all I want now is happiness for you and me 
Been keeping me up for days
There is no nightime
It's only a passing phase
And I feel pretty
Pretty enough for you
I felt so ugly before
I didn't know what to do

I can't prepare for death any more than I already have

Buy all of these and more from insound 


Anonymous said...

thank you

i understand it all
but life goes on and on and on

but it's sad for those left