Wednesday, October 07, 2009

BIBJ Playlist of the 2000s entry #48: Treehouse by I'm From Barcelona

The most gifted songwriters are masters of symbolism and metaphor. Anyone can pour out pure emotions in a diary-like purge, but it takes a true artist to craft a story that unfolds over multiple listens. One that millions of people can relate to, but each might relate to it for a slightly different reason. Nuance and ambiguity allow for multiple interpretations, enabling the listener to hold their own variation of the spoken truth and life lesson gained through the written word.

I have built a treehouse
I have built a treehouse
Nobody can see us
It's a you and me house

“I’ll give you shelter from the storm,” Bob Dylan wrote in the mid-1970s. Obviously the genius of the song is that the lyrics are about much more than merely a roof over one’s head. When we offer shelter with another human, we in fact offer so much more. We ask them to share in every aspect of the trials and tribulations of day-to-day struggles and successes. We offer a communal privacy when unforgiving storms affect the outside world. In doing so, the closeness in physical proximity translates to an emotional intimacy that might otherwise lie dormant within the walls of one’s individual psyche.

I've been climbing rocks and stones
Been collecting broken bones
I've been swimming across the lakes
Just to find this perfect place
I got lost into the woods
I've been covered up in mud
I've been going through a lot
Just to find this perfect spot

Oftentimes, the most valuable gifts we offer those close to us have been achieved through some of life’s largest obstacles. With those we love, we show the scars that have led us to this point in life. You showcase full vulnerability, saying to a significant other “I have been working toward this point my whole life. Every rise and fall, success and failure, joy and devastation, has brought me to this point. This is our shelter. Our foundation. Our backdrop for the comings and goings that will make up the story that is the rest of our life.”

This song contains no metaphor or symbolism. It’s about building a damn treehouse.

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