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Lyrics and Poems 1997-2012
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Lyrics and Poems 1997-2012

4.56  ·  Rating details ·  145 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Often cited as one of the finest contemporary lyricists, singer, songwriter and poet John K. Samson captures the essential images of contemporary life. Whether on the streets of his beloved and bewildering hometown of Winnipeg, an outpost in Antarctica, or a room in an Edward Hopper painting, he finds whimsy and elegance in the everyday, beauty and sorrow in the overlooked ...more
Paperback, 106 pages
Published February 2012 by Arbeiter Ring Publishing
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Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Like John K. Samson, I'm "in love with love and lousy poetry". This is a collection of Samson's lyrics and poems (duh) both with the Weakerthans and his solo stuff. As an avid fan, I know these lyrics/poems from singing along for years but they take on a different form on the page. These days, some of the truest poetry comes to us in the form of a song but removed from the music, the words are absorbed in a quieter more thoughtful way. I am a writer and I play music and while I cannot choose whi ...more
Clint Morin
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is perfect if you, like me:
- wanted a short read that is 95% Weakerthans lyrics you can sing along to in your head
- love John K
- have cried every night since The Weakerthans broke up
Nov 02, 2016 added it
Honestly, I keep taking this out of the library. I read a song/poem and I'm so transfixed, I can't move beyond. I just want to be quiet for that moment and fully experience myself with those words and images and emotions and experiences swirling around inside of me... maybe I should sign it out again..?
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps North America's finest living lyricist.
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely Stunning. I adored every line. As a lover of lyrics and songwriting John has blown me away
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
John K. Samson is one of the best, if not THE best, modern Canadian songwriters. This book proves it.
B. Mason
Lyrics and Poems is an elegant collection of John K Samson's writing, divided into sections for each of his full-length albums (4 Weakerthans and one solo) plus two additional poems to accompany every Weakerthans section. Even though I own physical copies of the records it's nice read through the collection and see Samson's progression as writer. The lyrics of"Fallow" and even "Left and Leaving" (my favorite record) vary wildly in their quality on the page. Bouncing from compelling narrative to ...more
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How I love this man’s writing and music. They occupy a truly special space in my heart.

Somehow they are always able to captivate me in just a few paragraphs of story: clever turns of phrase manage to unearth complex and emotive concepts, and inanimate or intangible things speak their mind. Seriously, from the heartbreaking story of a former lover wistfully thinking of his loss in the teacher's lounge, to the cat doing his best to rouse his owner out of a rut, a bus driver passing the time with
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, genre-bending
the design of this book is gorgeous. hats off to Arebeiter Ring Publishing of Manitoba. i haven't ever heard of them, but i was so impressed by the look of this book: its size, the cover design, the black spacer pages in between. if i had money i would hire this designer whoever she or he may be.
Samson's text, primarily lyrics to the songs of the Weakerthans, is funny, quirky, playful, frenetic. many of the epigraphs are taken from literary works. my issue was that i just wanted to hear all of t
Mika McIntosh
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
The one problem I had with this compilation is that it was a little jarring to read the lyrics without the music.

Don't get me wrong, these lyrics are gorgeous and defining not only of a career but of a genre, of a country. John K. Samson just gets it. But the entire time I was reading the lyrics I ended up singing the songs to myself instead and it took a lot of effort for me to read the lyrics more like poems.

I'm curious if people who have never listened to this band will find that the lyrics
Glenn Moses
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is such a nice compendium of John's work. I've had a wonderful experience just opening the book, doing my best to separate the words from the music, and absorb the flow of words in a whole other way. I truly wish that I saw the world the way that John does and I'm so glad that he shares what he has in his head for the rest of us. This is a beautiful book that I see myself going back to time and time and again from here until my end.
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
"And I'm leaning on this broken fence between past and present tense."
John Samson's poetry evokes such vivid images, this is a collection I could return to again.
So many worthy quotes, but I'll leave you with this one from the final poem: Taps Reversed.
"The calendar requests a meeting to discuss the time we
waste, when would be good for you?"
Lyrics and Poems 1997-2012, offers so much poetic nourishment, thank you John Samson.
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing

It was interesting to read Samson's lyrics in a poetic context, separating the words from the music behind them. He is very skilled in describing the intimate, minute details of seemingly normal circumstances in a way that makes you yearn for the past. Very nostalgic.

Musically speaking, the album Reconstruction Site is one of my all-time favourites. So many memories!
Keith Gapinski
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Reading this collection of lyrics by John K. Samson, originally of the rock band "The Weakerthans," reminded me of what a brilliant poet he is. His word choice is so original and smart that even without the music these poems moved me.
Jenny Rohde
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"I swear I more than half believe it when I say that somewhere love and justice shine. Cynicism falls asleep. Tyranny talks to itself. Sappy slogans all come true. We all forget to feed our fear."
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It mostly covers his songs, but those are amazing to read in print form. The other poems are well worth a look too. Reading the lyrics of the best lyricist is a beautiful experience.
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
As I owned all the records, there is not much that the book added except the good design and quality paging. Indeed good poetry and astonishingly adapted to songwriting.
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Love Weakerthans, would be five stars but I was expecting original content and not just the lyrics from his four albums.
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
RIP Weakerthans
Wonderful lyrics and poetry from wonderful songs.
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