Ramblings about “Poetry of the Deed” (the song, not the album)

It’s going to be the “10 year anniversary of Poetry of the Deed” night at Lost Evenings Festival in Boston tonight and while I’m all in all fine with my decision to not be a part of Lost Evenings this year, I do miss the community and all the side events and I’m a bit sad that I won’t be there to hear these songs, especially the title track. I just hope that now that they’ve rehearsed the songs once again they’ll play some more of them in the future. Like at the three gigs I’ll be at this summer?

Anyway, “Poetry of the Deed”: I think I can call it one of my favourite songs, even though “favourites” change every once in a while, because I can relate to or find comfort in or be inspired by different words depending on my state of mind or what’s going on in my life at that given moment. The strange thing about calling “Poetry…” one of my favourite songs is, that to me it has two parts. And whereas I love the sound and the rhythm and can appreciate the imagery of the first part, I can’t really relate to what Frank is singing about: The music / songwriting scene he’s been a part of at that time. But then there is the second half with quite a few thoughts and emotions put into such beautiful words, I could and still can relate to so very well and draw comfort and inspiration from. And as much as I enjoy the first half of the song, it’s some fragments of the second part that make this song so special to me. 

And here’s what we believe,
Before we get bored, let’s be inspired

was and still is my “call to arms” to be less bored = passive, dawdling, procrastinating and instead be more inspired = active, engage in stuff, do something. Ever since I heard this phrase I loved it, so much that I made it the title of this space after all. I’m not always living up to that call to arms, far from it. Especially these past few months I’ve been very much more bored and less inspired. But… I’m working on it.

Let’s grab life by the throat and then live it to pieces.
We can choose, we can change and if we don’t,

I must have listened and sung along to these lyrics hundreds of times until all of a sudden they meant something more to me. Epiphany and all… Once again something I need to remind myself of every once in a while. The changes I want or need to implement in my life might come along in a 3 steps forward, 2 steps back way, but… I’m not giving up. I’m choosing to not give up.

and this is followed by one of my (many) favourite lines of lyrics, Frank has ever written; words and rhythm and meaning wise…

We’re just afraid of living life like we’re loved
And in love and alive to all the things we could be

Every time I hear him sing those words, I’m in awe. Still. No matter how often I’ve listened or sung along to the song. To me it’s such a beautiful piece of poetry.

If we just believed that life,
Life is too short to live without poetry,
If you’ve got soul, darling, now come on and show it to me.

In various posts on here I’ve compared Frank’s lyrics to poetry and to me they are. I know lyrics are best seen in context of the music that accompanies the words, but some of Frank’s work fine on their own. I think. (My blog, my rules).

Except for “The Road” and “Try This At Home” the songs from the “Poetry of the Deed” album hardly make it onto a regular setlist. I could now present you with statistics and percentage from my “Frank Songs I’ve heard live” spreadsheet, but I don’t want to bore you anymore than I might have done with this post. But in all of the 45 shows I’ve been to since September 2013 I’ve only ever heard this title track once. ONCE! During the German leg of the PS4NP Tour in January 2016.

That gig in Bremen was a great one. One of my favourite gigs probably, because they played 4 of the 10 (rarer) songs I had hoped to hear live on that tour. Among them “Poetry of the Deed” and also “Tattoos”, which was sort of a request or rather more a suggestion of mine. Back in the day I didn’t feel comfortable with a “single issue” song request and thought my chances are higher if I give Frank some options. I don’t recall which song was on top of my requests back then. Most probably “Sailor’s Boots” :-) But I must have mentioned something like “But I’d also be happy to hear ‘Tattoos.'” After he had indeed played it at this fabulous gig, I knew I needed to thank him for this set that night. I recall very well that I was still so hyped and happy when he came out and over to us that I hugged him! I know, I know Frank often hugs people who wait for him after a show and thus that’s not a big deal. But it’s my impression that it’s usually him initating a hug. Boundaries and all. At least back then that’s the way I saw it and why I was in hindsight a bit worried I might have overstepped. I’m a worrier after all. Either way, that night I sort of threw myself at him and thanked him for the amazing gig and the songs he played and I must have said something like “You always say that anyone who requested a song can just claim you played it for them, so I’m claiming “Tattoos” tonight.” He said “Tell me your name again”, which I did and to which he in turn replied “yeah, it was your mail that reminded me, I hadn’t played that one in a while.” *sigh*

Ok, that was quite the detour from writing about the song “Poetry of the Deed”. If I had heard that song more often, there might not have been so many distinct memories connected with this one single gig. But every once in a while I find it fascinating to remember how much has changed in these past three years. How I acted and reacted around other people at Frank gigs then and now and also of course how it has changed how I act and react around him. But I’m not going to get into that now as well, because I’ve already written a long post about that almost two years ago…

Only 30 more days till I see Frank & the Souls play a show again. These weeks are going to pass in no time, right? Oh, and case in point… there are just a handful of live versions of that song on Youtube :-)


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