In The Ballroom
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Saint Bernadette's Poetic, Jaded Lyricism

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As a music listener, I play close attention to song lyrics; I'm always looking for those brilliant lyrical gems that stand out when coupled with an apt melody and instrumentals. Its rare to find a song that's lyrically inspired from beginning to end; most contemporary artists invest in a catchy, slick chorus and fill in the verses to fill up the space. Which is why I wasn't too displeased to find out that the lyrics to 'Pieces', a track from Bridgeport (Connecticut)-based alt-rock band Saint Bernadette's album Into the Ballroom (2007) weren't already available online - I was quite happy to transcribe the song's inspired lyrics for myself:


'Tears rolled but I was cold

I don't hold memories

But memory made a fool of me

As quickly as its made it fades

Eraces all the pain from me

It could be dead to me

But I would never let it be

Cold anger is no stranger to me

Its been left in me

Inheritance of dishonesty

You see me

You believe in me

I carry dreams in me

Your elegy made it clear to me



How long? How long?

Before the things we love will all be gone? 

How long? How long?

Before we light our candle to the dawn?

How long? How long?

Before we go ...


You made a point to say

Excuse the way I act

You see she left me today

I said it kinda looks that way

Tell me your story

I'll tell you my theory

Why it worked out that way

See we all have a card to play

I'll befriend the enemy

His hands are no surprise to me

But you can bargain with me

All in the moment with me are golden to me

Go home and write a song

A girl will sing along

Before long ...


[Repeat chorus twice]


As Mark Desrosiers of notes, there's a certain jadedness and 'flat cynicism' to lead singer Meredith DiMenna vocal delivery. When combined with the acoustics of the large, empty ballroom on the second floor of the Bijou Theatre where the album was recorded (hence its title), there final effect is an atmospheric, intellectualized numbness, which seems to suggest that the lyrical persona hasn't even bothered to 'hold on' to any emotional attachment (which I suppose you can't do if you don't hold on to memories), having already been too aware of the fact that 'the things we love will all be gone/ ...Before long'. 


Being jaded has probably never been so eloquently expressed; I first came across this track in 2012, and I still love how the verses stack one meaning-laded, potentially cryptic line after the other in such an effortless manner.