I downloaded this song from another mp3 site about a month ago. As I do, I backed it up onto a CD-R, which when full became my listening in the car. I try to make a note of which tracks grab my attention, so at very least I make a mental note about the artist (if it’s someone I’m not familiar with) or just make it easier to familiarize myself with the particular song.
So I’m driving along – I was somewhere downtown, curving along the lakefront on a sunny fall day – when Vic Chesnutt got to the key turning point in this song’s lyric.
And I was not ready.
Usually, I anticipate more or less where a song’s going if it’s got a coherent or narrative lyric. I didn’t this time. I went back and listened again. No giveaways…but no false moves, no stretching, either. Just a perfectly poised balance, a tightrope walk.
Really, it’s a shame that, for where he wanted to take the song eventually, Chesnutt had to perform that turn at all…rather than leave it, a subtle sort of seed, or a small lit fuse, slowly burning its hidden length until, for whatever reason, it exploded its meaning into focus.
Vic Chesnutt “Flirted With You All My Life” (At the Cut, 2009)