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Old 10-19-2022, 11:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
Born to be mild
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Default More Than Words: Looking Behind the Lyric

Plenty of songs are written on a relatively simple premise: rock all night, I love you, I'm the toughest/fastest/insert boast here, smash the system and so on. There's absolutely nothing wrong with these type of songs, as long as they're written and played well. But it's always gratifying to see a lyricist stretch themselves a little, whether it's to tackle a subject normally not expected, prove or put forward a point, tell a story or just to try to write something different. I'm always happy to see great lyrics in a song - the lyric is the lifeblood of the song, and no matter how good the melody is (unless it's an instrumental) the words have to make sense, and mean something, for the song to remain in my head long after it's finished.

So this new journal, which combines elements previously written in my main journal under the title of "More Than Words" and "The Word According to Waits", is dedicated to those songs on which the writer(s) took just that little bit extra care and put that extra bit of thought and effort into their lyric, to create a song that's just a little bit special, perhaps unusual, perhaps even weird, but certainly not ordinary.

The first song I want to present is from German metal band Axxis, whose album Paradise in Flames was the first - and so far, best, example I had of their work. This track, however, is from their third album, The Big Thrill, released in 1983, and is called “Waterdrop”.

Waterdrop (Axxis) from “The big thrill”, 1993.
Music and lyrics by Bernard Weib

It's an unusual subject to tackle, for certain, the more so because it's a heavy metal band recording it, but “Waterdrop” is really special. A lovely gentle acoustic guitar introduces the song, backed by lush keyboards, with very little percussion and a very laid-back vocal by Bernard Weib. The song is written from the point of view of, yes you guessed it, a drop of water, telling its journey from sky to river to sea, carrying with it “the elixir of life”. It's a lovely little song, quite unexpected as I say on a metal album, but proving what we metal fans already know, that some of the best ballads have been written by rock and metal bands.

The full lyric is below, and this is the song itself.

I am just a waterdrop
Fatefully I cannot stop my fall down to earth.
Like a tear from heaven sent
I don't know where my way will end
I just fly in the unknown deep
in the unknown deep.

Alone I'm weak and innocent
And yet I'm strong by my million friends
I'm one with the violence of the pouring rain.

In a raging river,
In a churning ocean,
I'm the flowing blood of the world - the elixir of life.

In a raging river,
In a churning ocean,
I'm the origin of life - I will survive,
I will survive.

I am just a waterdrop:
I'm so weak - I cannot stop my fall down to earth.
I'm formed to rain, clouds, ice and snow
Creating seasons - I let the nature grow
let the nature grow.

When I rain down the wasteland
Green grass is growing in dry sand
I'm indispensable - the elixir of life.

In a raging river,
In a churning ocean,
I'm the flowing blood of the world - the elixir of life.

In a raging river.
In a churning ocean.
I'm the origin of life - I will survive.
I will survive.
I will survive.
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