The Power of the Ballad

lighters

The Power of the Ballad

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That would start so low and so far.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
With piano or strumming guitar.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
And they’d start so low and alone –
But we waited for strings and we waited for drums
That the first verse would only postpone.

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That would start so low, but they’d build.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
Be it yearned or lost or fulfilled.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
And they’d always start so low.
But we knew there were strings and we knew there were drums,
All to come as the slow songs grow.

We were so young, too young to know,
That that’s not the way that our love must go.
We should have been so angry, shrieking out with rage –
Instead of slowly dancing, or shrieking at the stage.

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That would slowly grow as they’d build.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
Be it spent or hungry or willed.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
And they’d always build so good.
Cos we knew there were drums, and we knew there were strings –
And the strings entered here, as they should.

We were so young, too young to know,
That that’s not the way ev’ry time would flow.
But DJs gave us no-one else to lead us by their lights,
So who else could we turn to through our adolescent nights.

So we all sang along, sang along –
Cos who wouldn’t want to feel like they belong ?
So we sang and we sang, and still we got it wrong,
So we thought we had to listen even harder to the song

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That didn’t stay low, cos they’d build –
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
Be it craved or broken or thrilled.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
And they didn’t stay low for long –
Cos we knew there were strings and we knew there were drums,
And we knew that the climax was strong.

We were so young, too young to know,
That that’s not the way when you start off low,
But that’s what we thought, cos that’s what they’d tell:
That it builds and it builds till it surges in a swell.

So we all sang along, sang along –
Cos who wouldn’t want to sing out with the throng ?
So we sang and we sang, and still we got it wrong,
Even though we did it all like they did it in the song.

But there must be other songs we can play –
There must be other songs where it doesn’t go this way.
But if we trust the ballads, then will the answers come ?
Or will our eyes be closed as we’re swaying to the drum ?,
That starts its beating here.
Cos we may come and go, but the ballads persevere.

By the time we hit the middle-eight,
We maybe should have learned
As our lighters sway, but always late:
Behind the beat, with fingers burned.
By the time the raw falsettos flood
From songs that start so low,
Our doubts are drowned in pulsing blood.
I guess it’s time to play the solo.

We were so young, too young to know,
That that’s not the way that the songs should go.
They should sometimes start fast, and should sometimes never build,
And should sometimes anticlimax or suddenly be killed,

But we all sang along, sang along –
Cos who wouldn’t want for their love to build so strong ?
So we sang and we sang, even though we knew it’s wrong,
And still it never played out like it plays out in the song.

But there must be other songs we can play –
There must be other songs where it doesn’t go this way.
There must be other songs where our love strangely comes –
So unclose your eyes and ungate your drums,
And let them ring out clear !
For the ballad is done, but we all still are here.

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That would end so high, but they’d fade.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
Till the coda would close the parade.

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