Category: lyrics


(a.k.a. in which I listen to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat as part of the attempt to get over you)

That would be enough.
Say you’d still want this:
us alive, right here, feeling lucky.

— Ada Limón

mountains and rivers to reach you

Headphones on, bus rumbling through rivers. Rain falling. “Should we climb mountains and cross rivers together?” I asked. “Of COURSE we should,” you responded.

So we did our best in the weather that was given to us. You promised me an adventure, and we sang so many songs along the way. We have arrived at the end of the trail, bursting from all the tough terrain and beauty that is now behind us. I come away from it, quietly delighting in the way we got so close to it all and yet managed to remain so far. “Just call it horizon, & you’ll never reach it.” I hold the topography of your landscape close inside me as I watch it grow smaller in the rearview mirror. “Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,” you send to me some final lines of poetry. I resolve to comply.

“Beep beep boop,” chirped my phone as it revived itself in the world of reception. “Beep beep boop,” I responded, trying to speak a language you’d understand.


After I walked to the edge of the world and back, the big all-terrain wheels of the bus shook me from side to side. The movement made everyone else nauseous — yet all I wanted to do was write about my feelings. “That’s probably a metaphor for your life,” my friend tells me solemnly after I recount my actions. “You should blog it.”

And it’s #Hamilversary today! So just for fun, in lieu of emo poetry, here’s our love story in too many parts, composed on a bus-and-plane ride, told only in lyrics excerpted and rearranged from a musical.

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hope was a letter i never could send/ love was a country we couldn’t defend.

you were a phonograph, i was a kid
i sat with an ear close, just listening
i was there when the rain tapped her way down your face
you were a miracle, i was just holdin’ your space

well time has a way of throwing it all in your face
the past, she is haunted, the future is laced
heartbreak, ya know, drives a big black car
swear i was in the back seat, just minding my own

and through the glass, the corn crows come like rain
they won’t stay, they won’t stay
for too long now

this could be all that we know..
of love and all.

well you were a dancer, i was a rag
the song in my head, well was all that i had
hope was a letter i never could send
love was a country we couldn’t defend.

– excerpted from Big Black Car, Gregory Alan Isakov