I have always had a fascination with people who are seemingly gifted with the ability of lyricism and words. Language is one of my favourite things and the power that words can have in the hands of certain people/artists. One of the stand out examples of this that I have heard in recent years is the 2017 song by Scottish singer-songwriter Megan Davidson, otherwise known by their stage name Megan D, Simple Things.
The song comes from the debut EP by the same performer, entitled Out In The Ocean, and stood out to me as some of the best lyrics I have heard in a long time.
The idea at the core of the song is that the simple pleasures that make up our lives are what make them truly wonderful and throughout the song Megan D shows flourishes of language that leave a listener captivated.
The song starts off with the artist introducing us to two separate protagonists. The listener is shown the little quirks that make up these individuals, and we are left feeling as if we personally know them personally. A girl who is sure of who she is and lives her life with a simplicity as she looks for the things that make her happy.
“Turns simple things into simply divine,
Makes brand new clothes, out of the worn and torn,
She wears a scarf in the sunshine, as if she doesn’t know it’s supposed to keep you warm,
She walks about this broken town, she looks around but keeps her head down low,
Won’t put her trust in anyone even her old mum who would concur,
And you never know when she might run, so be careful you don’t fall for her”
The other protagonist is a boy who has fallen madly in love with our aforementioned female protagonist, and charts the steps that saw him eventually pluck up the courage to ask her would she like to give it a go. We are initially shown a character who is unsure of himself, and was initially unsure whether to take that step.
“His complex thoughts were clearly aligned,
Until she came along and occupied his heart and soul and his whole mind as if she needed to reside,
And he finds it hard to concentrate, but with her he forgets everything,
And he was pretty sure his chances were low ’cause with the confidence that he put on show,
But he liked her then, so he gave it a go,
and why she liked him, he doesn’t claim to know”
This is ultimately a song that asks us all to stop waiting for what we want to happen and make them happen if we thing they possibly could. The chorus takes us through the hopelessness that can set in if we watch life pass by without interacting or being proactive. A message worth heeding, and it is dealt with beautifully here by Megan D.
“And there’s hope in all bad situations, so try with all your might,
To get on that train, no don’t let them stop you,
From doing what you want to do”
The instrumentation is also perfect for what the song is trying to put across, as a single guitar drives the song with a refined drum beat in the background, occasionally being joined by delicate strings. There is nothing sophisticated or complicated and as a result the sentiment in the lyrics is pushed to the front and centre. The listener is left in no doubt as to what they should be focusing on.
This is stunning songwriting.