Saturday, May 27, 2006

Wittgenstein in love: Tegan and Sara

I'm sometimes amazed at how varied the sound of the Indigo Girls is--they really succeed, and sometimes succeed astoundingly, in a lot of genres. But if you want to broaden that sound, keeping the similar pervasive minor-third female harmonies but exploring a bit more musical territory, you may want to check out Tegan and Sara. Not only are their songs tremendously catchy, but they frequently link up lyrics and music in elegant ways. Below the fold are the words to one of my favorite of their songs, "Where does the good go?" It questions, in an almost Wittgensteinian manner, what remains when you and I are subtracted from us, and how vulnerable that remainder is. (Admittedly, to really see the Wittgenstein, you have to have read his Philosophical Explanations description of an arm movement as human action, and also be thinking a lot about an old ex-girlfriend, and listen to the song about ten times in a row...but it's there. Trust me.)

where do you go
with your broken heart in tow
what do you do
with the left over you

and how do you know
when to let go
where does the good go
where does the good go?

look me in the eye
and tell me you don't find me attractive
look me in the heart
and tell me you won't go
look me in the eye
and promise no love is like our love
look me in the heart
and unbreak broken it won't happen

it's love that leaves and breaks the seal
of always thinking you would be real happy
and healthy, strong and whole
where does the good go
where does the good go?

where do you go
when you're in love
and the world knows

how do you live
so happily
while i am sad
and broken down

what do you say
it's up for grabs
now that you're on your way down
where does the good go
where does the good go?

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