David Gray sings a beautiful cinematic song called “Please Forgive Me.” I’m not sure why I call the song cinematic. In high school I used the word Cinematic interchangeably with the words ‘beautiful’ ‘cool’ ‘fly’ ‘has swag.‘ Lately I’ve been trying to use the word only as it applies to something’s apparent inclination to be made into cinema.
The song doesnt have a narrative and the poetry isn’t full of imagery. I call it cinematic because of the way the percussion is layered onto the melody and the way the melody has moments of seriousness that make me think of someone all alone wrapped in his own arms rocking back and forth and then simultaneously a lightheartedness that sounds like spinning around in a field then theres an aching almost childishly genuine candor to the lyrics that almost sounds like the poet has never written a poem before. The layers of the music are cinematic to me because the ability to evoke so many moods at once is what cinema does more often than any other art.
He says, “Help me out here all my words are falling short and theres so much I want to say. Want to tell you just how good it feels when you look at me that way.”
I’ve always liked love songs that discuss not being able to speak truth to love. I have a collection of them- this is how i feel about the songs and movies and poems and books that I like... I collect them and I organize my collection into categories and I start to notice patterns. I large catagory of songs that i like are love songs and a subcategory of the love songs are songs specifically about the mind’s inability to find words.
I like how in order for the song to have been written the singer must be singing everything now that he was, presumably, unable to speak before. The ‘let me make a list of everything that I couldn't say before” songs- they’re like mind reading or time travel. They’re not about not knowing what to say, they’re about knowing exactly what you want to say but no one has invented the words yet and words are not what you want to say anyway.
The Beatles have one: When i get near you words begin to drag me down, I don’t mind I can wait forever I’ve got time.
It’s possible that I am boring you. I feel formal. Can you tell? I’m writing this like a voice over in a british period piece. In Atonement the letter that Robbie writes Cecila, the one he meant to send, not the one about a cunt, that letter is: Dear Cecila, You’d be forgiven for thinking me mad. The truth is I feel rather lightheaded and foolish in your presence and I don’t think I can blame the heat. Will you forgive me? -Robbie
Anyway, I had this collection of these songs long before I ever experienced that romantic muteness for myself, but now that I have, I’ve written this blogpost in which I say approximately nothing because the words I need in order to say what I want to say have no yet been invented.