August 19, 2009

your shoulderblade and spine were shorelines in the moonlight


I’ve been feeling a bit reclusive lately into my own quiet endeavors, simply digesting the music I have and easing off on the rabid consumption just a smidge, before it consumes me. It’s a mini phase, arguably tied with getting old, older (I am 30 today) — or perhaps just a symptom of the end of summer and the start of school with a hint of coolness in the air after sunset.

As the first suggestion of autumn nights creeps in, this new song by Josh Ritter instantly knocked the wind out of me tonight, and made me tear up (just a little — shhhh!) on my birthday, but I never mind it when music does that to me. I love the worlds Ritter creates, even though they are so often loaded with longing. This song is staggering.

I don’t remember what I dreamed last night, other than that there were words of optimism scrawled in black ink down my side. I’d fallen asleep with a head full of good thoughts and sparkling conversation, and woke up in a patch of sun, with a smile on my face for the decade to come. But somehow the ache and melancholy in this song strikes just the right chord with me tonight.

I Had A Dream Last Night (Change of Time) – Josh Ritter

(new song, live in Denver 7/23/09)

I had a dream last night, dreamt that I was swimming
and the stars came up, directionless and drifting
and somewhere in the dark, the silence and the thunder
around me as I swam, the drifters who’d gone under time, love
time, love
time, love
it’s only a change of time

I had a dream last night of rust, and far below me
battered hulls and broken heartships, leviathan and lonely
I was thirsty so I drank and though it was saltwater
there was something ’bout the way it tasted so familiar
time, love
time, love
time, love
it’s only a change of time, love

[unknown bridge about sails and silence, whitecaps of memory...]

I had a dream last night, and when I opened my eyes
your shoulderblade and spine were shorelines in the moonlight
new worlds for the weary, new lands for the living
I couldn’t make it if I tried
I closed my eyes, I kept on swimming
time, love
time, love
time, love
it’s only a change of time, love

An earlier live version, missing some verses but still gorgeous:

It’s only a change of time, love.

[photo at SF Noise Pop via Stranger Dance]

Tagged with .


  • Hi Heather

    I wish you a wonderful birthday, and hope that the next 30 years bring you all the health, happiness and laughter that you deserve! Oh… and lots of great music, too, to share with us!

    All the very best,

    Bill — August 20, 2009 @ 1:07 am

  • happy birthday Heather.

    Hanan — August 20, 2009 @ 1:37 am

  • Happy Birthday!
    For my 30th, I went self-indulgent and threw SwedeFest:
    I hope yours was excellent.

    Catfish Vegas — August 20, 2009 @ 2:01 am

  • Happy 30th Heather!

    Barry — August 20, 2009 @ 2:02 am

  • Happy Birthday, Heather. In a world of many, many blogs yours stands out for it’s excellent writing and, of course, wonderful music. Thank you for all the work that goes into it- it is much appreciated. Peace to you and all of yours.

    Derek Guivens — August 20, 2009 @ 4:40 am

  • Great live one. When a song can unexpectedly strangle a few tears from me, I know it’s a keeper. And I think I have told you happy birthday everyday this week so why stop now-Happy Birthday and thank you for giving us your time and words.

    spookycat — August 20, 2009 @ 6:03 am

  • Happy Birthday! Love that Josh is what you’re listening to on your 30th, because he certainly will be what I listen to on mine.

    ForTheShorties — August 20, 2009 @ 6:27 am

  • Happy Birthday, Heather! Great song! I’ve never really listened to any Josh Ritter, but I’ve heard the name. This makes me want to check out more.

    For my 30th, I played laser tag…

    Christopher Joel — August 20, 2009 @ 7:09 am

  • Thanks, Heather. I saw Ritter a few days here in Chicago after this show and liked the new songs he played (but was upset that he didn’t do Kathleen).

    And Happy Birthday!

    Dave Lifton — August 20, 2009 @ 7:41 am

  • What a way to spend a birthday – with Josh Ritter. Thanks for the music and a very Happy Birthday.

    Stephen — August 20, 2009 @ 8:13 am

  • Happy birthday! I passed thirty a few years ago and it never bothered me, but forty scares the crap out of me. Great song also.

    Mark — August 20, 2009 @ 12:42 pm

  • Thanks for such a wonderful site. And a very happy birthday. My 30th is a month and a day away…just like you, I have a feeling I might be listening to this song before I drift off to sleep that night…

    Kelli — August 20, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

  • Happy Birthday,Heather!
    I remember 30……….

    mark richmond — August 20, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

  • happy birthday!!!! i always enjoy reading your posts & think you have great musical taste!! greg

    greg thomas — August 20, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

  • Heather Happy Birthday.

    Mr Ritter is a star.

    Thanks for all you do, I recently went to a fantastic Brandi Carlile gig in Manchester. I wouldnt have known about her if it wasnt for your blog.


    P.S. went to U2 last night (Don Valley at Sheffield) and staggering is the only word I can use.

    Chris Jacques (Tottington England) — August 20, 2009 @ 10:25 pm

  • [...] over at the phenomenal I Am Fuel, You Are Friends blog, recently posted a live recording of a brand new Josh Ritter track for your listening [...]

    Music News Recap: Live To Tell « True Endeavors Presents… — August 20, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

  • Beautiful and melancholy song. A very happy birthday to you!

    Ed — August 21, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

  • You are officially my favorite person in the world for posting this. The song is absolutely beautiful — I’ve been suffering from Josh withdrawals lately. Thank you.

    allison — August 22, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

  • Thank you for this! I saw him recently opening for John Prine and he played two new ones… can’t wait for a new CD

    Michael — August 22, 2009 @ 8:34 pm

  • Hey there, Heather! Sorry I missed this on your actual birthday! Happy Happy!! ;-) You rock!!

    chris — August 23, 2009 @ 6:54 am

  • Happy -late- birthday!!
    Your’s was the day before mine. Stop feeling old – I was already in high school when you were born!

    Eric — August 23, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  • wow, you are old. yo. (j/k). 30s are the best. seriously.


    c — August 24, 2009 @ 9:33 pm

  • The missing verse:

    The black clouds I’m hanging
    rough seas they carry me wherever I go
    This anchor I’m dragging
    The sails of memory rip open in silence
    We cut though the lowlands
    All hands through the saltlands
    The white caps of memory
    Confusing and violent

    Rocco — January 25, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

  • that’s magnificent, rocco. thank you.

    browneheather — January 25, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

Comments RSS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Subscribe to this tasty feed.
I tweet things. It's amazing.

Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

View all Interviews → View all Shows I've Seen →