Great Opening Lines: You Call That a Mountain

February 23, 2018

Today’s opening lines:

I always heard about the great Atlantic

How it humbles you to stand upon its shores

So I thought I’d take the time to go and see it

’cause I had no ties upon me any more

But I don’t know what I wasted my time for…

“You Call That a Mountain”
(Michael Garvin/Bucky Jones)

Reading this aloud, one finds it prosaic, but with melody, it is anything but. This opening skillfully and conversationally sets up the form of the song: the singer visits a new natural wonder in each stanza. In the bridge, the singer then praises the incomparable wonder of his now lost love. The natural wonders pale.

Rhythmically, the lyrical cadence is grasped immediately by the listener. In the verse, sung in 2, the emphasis is on the 2. In the bridge, on the 1. This reversal of emphasis, making the bridge the definitive commentary on the more passive observations made in the verse, is, I think, simply some of the finest artisanship I’ve seen in Nashville classic country.

Definitely, a song I will record for the next EP.

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