donovan woods :: ‘sask’ (live)

I’m just popping in for a minute. I have something to say about this…


I have listened to Donovan Woods’ “Sask” over and over for the past three days. I regret leaving the house because I cannot take it with me, so to speak. I mourn the departure soccer games bring because it’s inappropriate for a mother to sit on the sidelines with headphones on. I feel this song so hard that I actually miss it when I don’t have it on me.

There is an amazing simplicity in the lyrics, nothing more than a few sentences really, and I’m still struck, after hundreds and hundreds of listens, at how perfectly and efficiently Woods is able to tell a story with so few words.

I was planning to go somewhere warm with the money.

I was planning to go somewhere warm with the money.

No offense Saskatchewan, you live a lie, live a lie, live a lie.

I ain’t one to talk, dear. So did I, so did I, so did I.

So did I.

Goddamn. I never realized it until encountering this song but it’s so rare that we take responsibility for our part in breakdowns and bad things. I’ve realized it in others perhaps, but less so in myself, I guess. There is blame and there is occasionally guilt but full on acceptance of our own parts in it nearly never come. It might happen in song more than I’ve noticed — perhaps I’m willfully blind to it for whatever reason — but it seems even more rarefied in that medium.

I’ve spent a few days trying to reason with this song. I’ve spent more than a couple of hours trying to understand what it is about Woods’ words here that absolutely refuse to let me tear myself away from them. I can come up with no other apologia for my mad obsession other than to say that hearing someone sing that it wasn’t Saskatchewan’s fault at all but his own too has pulled one or two of the strings surrounding my heart. There he is singing, angrily vulnerable. Apologetic. Full of blame. It was you, it was me. This song is both killing and saving me, I swear it.

Woods’ Don’t Get Too Grand was released 26 March via Aporia Records. It is wonderful and it will turn you inside out, exposing your heart and all your fragile inside bits. If you’re anything at all like me, that is.

We highly recommend.


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