According to the American Heritage Dictionary a poet is someone who writes poems. If I were to give my own definition of a poet it would say a poet is someone who can take a group of words and put a hundred different emotions and meanings into them. This is what Dave Mathews does with his lyrics; he takes his emotions and puts them into words. This is what makes him a poet and a master of words.
From the debut of his first album Remember Two Things, Mathews has instructed the listener to do everything from love to relax and enjoy the day. He does this through his lyrics, taking his experiences and emotions putting them to words and passing his knowledge to us. It is very rare to find someone in today’s music industry that can inspire in this way. Money and MTV have taken away what music is supposed to do, create emotions. A very sad and obvious example is the current charts topper The Back Street Boys. What is the world coming to when a group of kids are making millions because a bunch of 12-year-old girls have crushes? This is the cue for the prophet Mathews, he takes his talents and does something that people can relate too. He inspires and pushes the limits of the imagination.
To give the reader a taste if what Dave Mathews’ poetry is like I’m going to give some examples over the next paragraph. The examples that precede derive from several of his albums so as to give the full spectrum of his talents. The first exert is Proudest Monkey from the album Crash, it is a song about a person who lived a very simple life but decides to make a change:
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“Swing in this tree
Oh I am bounce around so well
Branch to branch,
limb to limb you see
All in a day’s dream
Like the other monkeys here
I am a humble monkey
Sitting up in here again
But then came the day
I climbed out of these safe limbs
Walking tall, head high up and singing
I went to the city
Car horns, corners and the gritty
Now I am the proudest monkey you’ve ever seen”
This shows that though these are lyrics from a song, if read without music to accompany them the words have a power all their own much like a poem. The next example is from the album Before these Crowded Streets, the tract is Pig. This song tells the listener that we live in a world that is full of beauty and magic and that we should stop and smell the roses:
“Oh, isn’t it strange
How we move our lives for another day?
Like skipping a beat
What if a great wave should wash us all away?
Just thinking out loud
Don’t mean to dwell on this dying thing
But look at my blood
It’s alive right now,
And deep and sweet within
Pouring through our veins
Intoxicate moving wine to tears
And drinking it deep
Then an evening spent dancing
It’s you and me…
This love will open our world
From the dark side we can see a glow of something bright
Oh, there’s much more than we see here
Don’t burn the day away
Is this not enough?
This blessed sip of life,
Is it not enough?
Staring down at the ground
Oh, then complain and pray for more from above,
You greedy little pig
Stop, just watch your world trickle away
Oh, it’s your problem now
It’ll all be dead and gone in a few short years”
Again Mathews uses the power of words to send a message to the masses.
In today’s world of money and power people tend to lose sight of the things that are important. People forget that there are more important things in life than a big bank account and a new car. Through his lyrics Mathews shows us things that are obvious to the human spirit but are often times forgotten. It takes a true poet to make us open our eyes and see what is all around us; these are the things that make David Mathews a true artist.
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