Sunday Music: But It’s Still Alright

Nathaniel Rateliff’s “And It’s Still Alright” is a tough, tough song packaged in an airy, acoustic, softly-lined shell. There’s a whole lot of brilliant writing and intense emotion going on here.

I’ll put the lyrics below, but when you listen, note the pacing and grouping of his phrases. There are parts where it feels like he’s holding back and others where the words start tumbling forward. It feels so… conversational (I think that’s it). Give the words a read and the song a listen.

ps. Just because it’s worth mentioning, I also really love that the song is called “And It’s Still Alright,” while the lyrics only ever say, “but it’s still alright.” That’s a conversation for another day. Enjoy.

It ain’t alright, the hardness of my head
Now, close your eyes and spin around
Say, hard times you could find, it
Ain’t the way that you want
But it’s still alright

Late at night, do you lay around wondering?
Counting all the lines, ain’t so funny now
Say, times are hard, you get this far, but it
Ain’t the way that you want
I’ll be damned if this old man don’t
Start to count on his losses
But it’s still alright

They say you learn a lot out there
How to scorch and burn
Only have to bury your friends
Then you’ll find it gets worse
Standing out on the ledge
With no way to get down
You start praying for wings to grow
Oh, baby, just let go

I ain’t alright, you keep spinning out ahead
It was cold outside when I hit the ground
Said, I could sleep here, forget all the fear
It will take time to grow
Maybe I don’t know

Hey, tonight if you think about it
Remembering all the times that you pointed out
Say, the glass is clear but all this fear
Starts a-leaving a mark
Your idle hands are all that stands
From your time in the dark
But it’s still alright

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