Tag Archives: Past

IRON AND WINE – Communion Cups and Someone’s Coat

So, I know it has been a while – both for me and a music review. But, you know, life happens. And lately, life has been crazy. New, old, unstable, unrelenting, busy life. I’ve been more stressed in the past few months than I have for the entire year.

And so, with all that anxiety in worrying about the past and future, I decided to pick a song that, I believe, is all about focusing on now.  “Communion Cups and Someone’s Coat” from Around the Well, is one of my favorites from Iron and Wine. Sam Beam is the man behind the name and has one of the most calming voices I have ever heard. One that I, frankly, cannot get enough of.

The acoustics in this song are simple and beautiful, repeating this flowing melody with sharper upper tones and a ghostly echo. Like so many Iron and Wine songs, there is an earthiness to the sound and an easiness that is both relaxing and familiar. There are no drums, no bass, and nothing fancy – just Sam’s voice, the guitar, and a woman’s voice backing vocals to enhance the wonder.

Sam starts in with the first set of verses and answers:

Talk of yesterday and she will show her
brothers photographed in calloused clothes.
Say tomorrow and she’ll say come find me,
on a beach and there will be no moon.

But say
today
and she will
kiss your face
and maybe
forgive.

Looking at this, many meanings can come forward from the lyrics dependent on a person’s history and life experiences. For me, right now, it is about today. The woman Sam talks about goes off on a sad nostalgia (photographed, calloused clothes) when asked about the past and when it comes to the future, it is dark and unknown (no moon). However, when you ask about the present and what is happening now, she is delighted.

The second verse continues this:

Talk of yesterday like bargain shoestring,
she will kick the car and find her friends.
Say tomorrow and then she’ll describe some
old communion cups and someone’s coat.

But say
today
and she may
look your way
and lead you
home.

When the past is mentioned, the woman is angered and begins to look for her friends.  To me that is a reaction to find comfort now in the people that surround you. When the tomorrow comes about, she diverges and reminisces on details that are not important in life. As if to say, why focus on things to come and not enjoy right now? I love how when today is the topic, she pays attention to the speaker and leads them home. She is so delighted to be in the moment with another person that she will share her home.

This song is a reminder to me to stop worrying about what happened yesterday, quit analyzing the probabilities of my futures, and just enjoy the now. Be present in the moment and live life.

Please take a listen to the song here .  I encourage you to then keep exploring Iron and Wine and bathe in Sam’s heart-wrenching sound.

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DEAR FRIEND

The pain in my heart
is not for that
who has passed,
dear friend.

The pain in my heart
is having to watch
you fall apart,
again and again.

Knowing,
as I stand idle by,
there is nothing I can do
to make you understand.

Grief is a hard thing,
a battle of the inside.
But its necessary
and unfortunately out of command.

Dear friend,
Time is a current
that flows with no restriction
and with it,
I am certain,
you will come back to me
feeling life more
than when you began.

MEMORY

Down lit streets
tucked in dark alleys
is where I found you.

Carved of crumbling brick
in lines of graffiti
was some strange part of myself.

Though I didn’t understand it,
my eyes had seen
it all before.

Registering
a mental fog
my mind traced the memory
as it became
the present
and then the past.

FAMILIAR FEELINGS

Though memories fade
there still remains
familiar feelings.

Simple as a sound,
thoughts provoked
begin to run around
and I chase them
hoping to even just glimpse
at the past behind me.

TIME GOES

Where does time go?

Is it stuck in a box
filled with glossy pages
of faces?

Is it cast out to the curb,
left waiting for another?

Does it hide
in your mind,
a never-ending circuit
full of emotions and images?

I do not know
where it goes.
I am only left to wonder:

Where did the time go?

A SECOND

For that fleeting moment,

I felt it.

 

Flickering before my eyes

was a summer’s yesterday,

amidst the cold, dreary morning.

 

In that instant

I teetered on the edge of a memory.

Swaying to the present,

deeply breathing the past.

 

The sun glinting on the metal.

The soft chatter of voices.

The ground soft and spongy.

The lasting smell of warm rain.

 

I tell you that I was there.

I was in two places at one second,

and that love was carrying me then and now,

all at once.