05 November 2010

picture window

a few months ago, i nearly had a stroke when i found out about a project between two of my favorites: author nick hornby and singer/songwriter ben folds: lonely avenue. the lyrics are written entirely by nick hornby and the music/performance is done entirely by ben folds. it's an interesting concept - and brilliantly carried out. i highly recommend it, regardless of your familiarity with either hornby or folds.

the first time i listened to the second track on the album - "picture window" - i bawled. if you've followed my blog the past few months, you might remember a particularly depressing entry this pa
st summer when i discussed a patient who died while i was rotating on the gynecology-oncology service during my OB/GYN rotation. it was a very difficult experience because there was so little we could do for my patient and many others with end stage disease. as trite as it might sound, this song somehow embodies my experience and allows me to have catharsis for this rotation. i've included the lyrics below.

they checked into the hospital new year's eve
nothing to be done about that
rainbows, daffodils, she's not naive
symbolism's all crap

there's a big picture window in their room on the ward
with a view over parliament hill
but the view offers more joy than they can afford
when there's this much pain to kill

(chorus)
you know what hope is? hope is a bastard
hope is a liar, a cheat and a tease
hope comes near you, kick its backside
got no place in days like these

at dusk the darkness surrenders to colour
as the fireworks streak the sky
and their window gives them the prettiest picture
the useless luck makes her want to cry

(chorus)

then it turns to midnight, the shitty old year's spent
another mum gives her some sparkling wine
she nearly gives in to the moment
but she'll be sick in 2009

(chorus)

and just as she's thinking of pulling the blind
a huge rocket bursts, right in front of her eyes
the city lit up, London's given a bright crown
as she tires, and fails, to stop spirits rise

(chorus)

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interestingly enough - consistent with the song - the rooms on the gyn-oncology floor all have gigantic picture windows. here's a view out a patient's window i snapped with my camera phone one day. thanks, nick and ben. you guys help keep a poor medical student sane.

1 comment:

a girl named heather said...

always will think of you when i hear it! :)