i’m not alone…

I love Dave Matthews. With the Band or solo, I think he is a unbelievable songwriter and musician. Somewhere along the way he got the reputation for being a “nonsense” songwriter. I think that’s ridiculous. Dave is one of those writers that makes me want to stop writing, because what’s the point? Look past the jam-band, “let’s smoke a joint” personae and you find a poetic soul that has few rivals. Don’t believe me? Take a look at “The Dreaming Tree”:

Standing here, the old man said to me
Long before these crowded streets
Here stood my dreaming tree
Below it he would sit for hours at a time
Now progress takes away
What forever took to find
Now he’s falling hard, He feels the falling dark
How he longs to be beneath his dreaming tree
Conquered fear to climb
A moment froze in time
When the girl who first he kissed
Promised him she’d be his
Remembered mother’s words
There beneath the tree
No matter what the world
You’ll always be my baby
Mommy come quick
The dreaming tree has died
The air is growing thick
A fear he cannot hide
The dreaming tree has died

Wow. That’s just the first verse. Let’s take a look at the second:

From the start
She knew she had it made
Easy up ’til then
For sure she’d make the grade
Adorers came in hordes
To lay down in her wake
She gave it all she had
But treasures slowly fade
Now she’s falling hard
She feels the fall of dark
How did this fall apart
She drinks to fill it up
A smile of sweetest flowers
Wilted so and soured
Black tears stain the cheeks
That once were so admired
She thinks when she was small
There on her father’s knee
How he had promised her
You’ll always be my baby
Daddy come quick
The dreaming tree has died
I can’t find my way home
There is no place to hide
The dreaming tree has died

Seriously?! A human wrote that?! I thought for sure a Greek god penned those verses. And it’s not just this song. Every song of his, even the fun ones, make me want to throw up. For someone with a reputation for “nonsense”, I see nothing but lucid genius in his writing. Maybe it’s just me.

But here’s the thing: even the best writers feel inferior to someone. All songwriters (really all artists) look to someone and think “what’s the point?” Even the great Dave Matthews. Earlier today I came across this article from Rolling Stone that Dave wrote about Radiohead. You can read it here

Radiohead. There’s another band that blows my mind. Always. But that’s for another time. For now, I take heart that my insecurity and inferiority finds good company.

And Dave, if you ever read this: You rock. Also, you were awesome in that episode of House. Also, you should come to Calgary again sometime. It’s been, what, 10 years? Also, I think we should be best friends… just throwing that out there. I’m not a creep.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    How dare you casually refer to Dave’s acting career without highlighting “Where the Red Fern Grows”? For shame.Malcolm

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