Saturday, December 12, 2009


I recently had the pleasure of watching a concert/interview for television by Canadian singer/songwriter Jann Arden.  She has a superb voice, but what I most love are her lyrics.    They pierce.  They eviscerate.  They quicken.  They wrench you awake and then wring you out.  When she is finished, you feel like you have had open heart surgery and......are somehow immediately feeling the better for it. 

Between performances of her songs, she comfortably exposes her personal quirks and foibles with a self-deprecatory, dry wit in counterpoint to her plaintive music and lyrics.  She could have a second career and make any audience happy as a stand-up comedienne.

Below are the lyrics to her song "Unloved".  I'm not sure how familiar American or international audiences are with Jann Arden.  Here in Canada we consider her somewhat of a national treasure.  You can always see a performance of "Unloved" on YouTube, but a quiet read of the lyrics here is a tempting prelude.

There will be no consolation prize
this time the bone is broken clean
no baptism, no reprise and no sweet taste
of victory. All the stars have fallen
from the sky
and everything else in between
satellites have closed their eyes, the moon
has gone to sleep unloved....unloved....unloved....unloved

Here I am inside a hotel choking on a
million words I've said
cigarettes have burned a hole and dreams are
drunk and penniless
here I am inside my fathers arms
all jagged-bone and whiskey-dry
whisper to me sweetly now and tell me I will
never die unloved....unloved....unloved....unloved

Here I am an empty hallway
broken window, rainy night
I am nineteen sixty-two and I am ready
for a fight people crying hallelujah
while the bullet leaves the gun
people falling, falling, falling and I don't know
where they're falling from
are they unloved....unloved....unloved....unloved

Hoping that the kindness will lead us
past the blindness and
not another living soul will ever have to feel

~Jann Arden~

Afternote:  I should have included a link to YouTube for you before.  Here it is:


  1. bonnie - these are powerful lyrics that stand on their own without jann's voice but which leap off the screen when she sings them. what an extraordinary blessing to have someone so gifted with her quality of perception and the ability to share her perceptions! have a peaceful evening. steven

  2. I do not know this singer but after reading the lyrics you posted I shall search her on the Internet. The lyrics are poignant and make you think. They have a poignant honesty in which you can recognize some of your own feelings; quite heart wrenching but melodic at the same time. Thanks for introducing her to those who do not know her.

  3. Those are pretty powerful lyrics. I'll have to look into her music. Sounds pretty intense and meaningful.
    Loved your Tree photos that you just posted. Beautiful.

  4. tight. really like the lyrics though i am not familiar with her...will definitely look her up now!

  5. absolutely riveting lyrics!! thanks so much for making them available to us! love love love them!

  6. I have seen Jann Arden in concert. A number of years ago, I might add. Her mouth was most foul! The "F" word was in each sentence.
    Yet, I love her lyrics, as, at the time, I was single and dating and she knew from whence I came. Interesting Canadian lady! Thanks for celebrating her!

  7. Thanks for the intro; will go and have a listen on YT. Love the falling snow!

  8. Jann Arden is a treasure, her music is captivating, like a spell. The lyrics for "Unloved" brings sadness to my heart because I've known so many people who have felt that way. It's not a place I like to dwell in for very long. Some never pass the blindness nor experience the kindness. The song does however, remind us to be ever mindful in our daily expressions of feelings toward one another. Thank you for sharing this Bonnie, my bloggy friend! =D

  9. You're right, had never heard of her. I see just by the lyrics you've shared with us, that she has the ability to evoke strong emotions and images through her words! I too will have to search youtube to hear her voice as that will add another whole dimension I am sure.

  10. Bonnie, beautiful lyrics and such a beautiful woman! I will go to the YouTube link to listen :)

    I love these little snowflakes you have floating on your page...they are so pretty :)

    Good to see you again! I have missed you!

  11. Never heard of her but I will listen her immediately. My favorite Canadian singers are Garou and Lhasa...( at least I am thinking that they are Canadian.)

  12. I have never heard of her before, but I listened to the link you had there, and some of her other songs on YouTube. She has a wonderful voice. Thanks for letting us know about her. I'll have to see if I can download some of her songs from ITunes.


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