A Failure Playlist #8: Really Long Songs

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The final playlist inspired by songs from "A Failure." This week: Really Long Songs. A few rules: No song-suites here (sorry, prog rock), no experimental or jazz music, no jams or guitars solos - these are all songs that could have been four minutes long had the writer decided to choose their best three verses rather than use all forty-seven. 


A few of the songs here would easily make my top ten: Ambulance Blues, Somehow The Wonder Of Life Prevails, Oh Comely, I Dream A Highway. There's something I can't resist about hypnotic, hyper-repetitive songs with mysterious lyrics that can't be properly absorbed in one sitting. Somewhere around the six-minute mark, you realize this song is in no hurry to end, so you just sink into it, your attention drifts in and out, and you find different things each time you listen. 

The song of mine that inspired this playlist, "Fire Engine Blues," is my favorite on the album. I've got three minute songs that took a year to get right, but this twelve-and-a-half minute song appeared fully formed in about as much time as it takes to sing. I thought about cutting it down to something more easily digestible, but the lengthy, wandering nature of it seems central to its meaning, as it's about waiting, and thinking, and going in circles; it's a song not trying to get anywhere. I'm still not exactly sure what it's about. I think, possibly, it has something to do with middle age and domesticity; all I'm sure is that it doesn't have much to do with prison.

Hear all the playlists on my Spotify Artist page.