Poetry Week, Day 7, Song Lyric: "In Redondo"

In Redondo

Walking on a windy beach with headphones on
I've got a beat up iPod full of Elliot Smith songs
Foaming waves run up the sand in the shimmering heat
The cool polluted water feels good upon my feet
In Redondo

In the hazy distance mountains rise above the sea
Coming slowly closer, a runner on the beach
Shore birds scatter, wheeling above me as I get near
I look away for awhile, and they've all disappeared

Picked up a spiral shell and suddenly awoke from a dream
Blurring the line between illusion and reality
In Redondo

I shake the sand out of my shoes and walk in the door
You left another note but I can't read them anymore

We tried to hold on to a ghost of the life we once knew
Someday I may lose the memory of you
In Redondo

- Instrumental interlude -

Nothing lasts forever, now I know that's true
Someday I will lose the memory of you
The memory of you
In Redondo, Redondo
You and me in Redondo
In Redondo

*               *               *

All the best songs have snappy, direct and hard hitting lyrics; a great example of this is Bruce Channel's smash hit (on Smash Records!) "Hey! Baby", which topped the charts at #1 for three weeks in 1962. The first verse of that song is:

"Hey, hey baby
I wanna know woh oh
If you'll be my girl"

And the second verse is:

"Hey, hey baby
I wanna know woh oh
If you'll be my girl"

Doesn't get more direct and to the point than that, and success speaks for itself. The songs that come to me aren't close to being in the same league, but we do have fun playing them anyway. 

Song lyrics need music to be complete, and "In Redondo" has an accompaniment, with liberal use of fragmented and vague sounding chords neither major nor minor, which attempts to convey some of the feeling of isolation, uncertainty and loss that we were going for. But although incomplete without the score, do the lyrics by themselves have any poetic value? Possibly.

It's set in a mythical, imaginary place called Redondo, located somewhere between here and nowhere. I've always liked the sound of that word or name; my sister says it's a colloquial translation of "fat round one" from Spanish or Portuguese. And no, it's not Redondo Beach, which is also a poetic place but in a daytime nightmare kind of way. Wow- a fat round one... Hey, hey baby, roll me a Redondo, would you?

Thanks to David for the beat up iPod, without which this song, and poem, wouldn't be possible.


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