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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

All I Want Is You


(Romance by Thomas Hart Benton, 1889-
1975, American painter and muralist)

Last month, we looked at three poems that used the rhetorical device of the hypothetical. This device involves conditional clauses and verbs in the subjunctive mood to suggest the impossible and the improbable, or to express wishes and doubts and uncertainties and suppositions contrary to fact.

The hypothetical is especially useful since it allows poets and lyricists to expand the possibilities for the expression of love.

The lyrics below are of a song from the soundtrack of the film
Juno. You’ll notice a few errors in the verb forms. As Barry Louis Polisar, the singer-songwriter, explained, “I wrote and recorded this song in 1977 when I was about 23 years old and should have known better. . . . I went back 20 years later and re-recorded the song with the proper grammar (and an in tune guitar!) but the director liked the old funky, off-key version with the bad grammar intact. As a kid, I listened to — and loved — the songs of Roger Miller. He had a song called ‘Reincarnation’ which begins with the line ‘If I was a bird and you was a fish / what would we do, I guess we’d wish for reincarnation.’ I’m sure this was in my subconscious when I wrote this song.”

(Click here to listen to Barry Louis Polisar’s performance.)

ALL I WANT IS YOU

If I was a flower growing wild and free,
All I’d want is you to be my sweet honey bee.
And if I was a tree growing tall and green,
All I’d want is you to shade me and be my leaves.

Chorus:
All I want is you, will you be my bride,
Take me by the hand and stand by my side?
All I want is you, will you stay with me,
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea?

If you were a river in the mountains tall,
The rumble of your water would be my call.
If you were the winter, I know I’d be the snow,
Just as long as you were with me when the cold winds blow.

If you were a wink, I’d be a nod.
If you were a seed, well, I’d be a pod.
If you were the floor, I’d wanna be the rug,
And if you were a kiss, I know I’d be a hug.

If you were the wood, I’d be the fire.
If you were the love, I’d be the desire.
If you were a castle, I’d be your moat,
And if you were an ocean, I’d learn to float.

All I want is you, will you be my bride,
Take me by the hand and stand by my side?
All I want is you, will you stay with me,
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea?

2 comments:

dylan said...

I liked Juno, and I like the lyrics to this song! Thank you!

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

I do have the soundtrack of Juno - and I enjoyed this song too. Made me smile to see the entire lyrics here. :)