Old soul songs

I was at my favourite local band’s EP release concert on Friday night. Captain Firebutton is Kaitlyn’s brother Cody’s band. I’ve known Cody since I was two, and so I’ve seen pretty much every band he’s ever been in. Finally, about two years ago, he joined an awesome one. I’m one of their biggest fans and I’ve been to almost every show.

One of their new songs is called Old World, and I loved it right away. Why?

The word “Babylon.”

I have this love for what I call old soul songs* - songs that reference history at all, but especially in reference to love as old as time.

Soloman falls on his face in love with me.
He grows as old as the sea, deep where the fishes are.

He lives in the yard.

He keeps himself hard.
He keeps himself homeless and heartless and hard.

He sleeps under stairs along with the heirs of nothing,
And nothing means no one who cares.
But I love him dear,

And I love him dear,

And I’ve loved him hundreds of thousands of years.


That song, courtesy of my Faebala, is Stay by Belly. It’s beautiful. It is the quintessential old soul song. It makes my bones feel.

Samson went back to bed
Not much hair left on his head
He ate a slice of wonder bread and went right back to bed
And history books forgot about us and the bible didn’t mention us
And the bible didn’t mention us, not even once
You are my sweetest downfall
I loved you first, I loved you first
Beneath the stars came fallin’ on our heads
But they’re just old light, they’re just old light

Your hair was long when we first met

One of my favourite songs of all time, Samson by Regina Spektor. Regina Spektor is a master of the old soul songs. All of her songs a rife with historical references, especially my favourite kind - greek mythology (she has a song called Oedipus!).

Take stock in a master plan
Place bets on an empty hand
Empire has a leg to stand
Holy roman style
A poison from a holy grail
Blind faith doesn’t make a sale
Landmines on a righteous trail
March rank and file

Holy Roman, by the Get Up Kids. One of my favourite Get Up Kids songs.

Remember how it all began
The apple and the fall of man
The price we paid
So the people say
Down a path of shame it lead us
Dared to bite the hand that fed us
The fairy tale
The moral end
The wheel of fortune
Never turns again

Thick as Thieves by Natalie Merchant is probably one of my favourite songs by her, but Ophelia is another great example.

I met you before the fall of Rome
And I begged you to let me take you home
You were wrong, I was right
You said goodbye, I said goodnight
It’s all been done

And to sum it up, It’s All Been Done by the Barenaked Ladies. There are a hundred more I could quote, but I think you’ve got the point. I have no idea why I feel this way. It could be my love for history. It could be that at heart I’m a hopeless romantic who believes in the notion of the Origin of Love and that we have soulmates, stretching past through time. Maybe it’s just that all of these songs are beautiful.

Soon, I’ll tell you about my similar love for Leaving Songs.

*Yes, that’s a reference to Bright Eyes


  • By Faebala, March 30, 2009 @ 10:48 am

    *melts* This post just turned me into a puddle everywhere.

    Samson, Belly, Ophelia… ORIGIN OF LOVE.

    You know those songs hit me to the bone too. Beautiful, beautiful post. <3

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