belated tune: Ben Sollee, “Bible Belt”

ben bio picture

We all have a tendency to listen to music that reflects our own lives: our ideas, our struggles, our sentiments. Ben Sollee’s 2011 album Inclusions seems to take this to heart, targeting a very particular demographic: educated, of refined tastes, and probably 30-something.

That said, there’s a special moment in the middle of Inclusions, a moment when what may’ve previously alienated some listeners instead reaches out and pulls them under its umbrella: the irrefutably classy, deceptively modest “Bible Belt.” It’s a narrative of honesty and easy imagery, delivered by a soulful and at times spoken-wordy Sollee and brilliantly backed by a cinematic blend of horns and strings (how about that bass?!). This is movie music, a track that puts the listener in the moment while also telling a sweeping, convincing story. Lyrics after the jump.

Bought an old tux coat at the vintage store
Had a few holes in it from the man before
You wore a champagne dress
Bought it at Target cause it cost less

Rented an old house with spiral stairs
Watched you walk down them with flowers in your hair
Four months ago, I didn’t know your name
But I guess even as strangers we rattled the cage

There’s a few folks whisperin’
The billboards say what they won’t
We didn’t ask your permission
I won’t wear your bible belt

Our baby boy was born late that year
Our past caught up with us and caused a few tears
But I loved you like a hard rain
I just want to see you shed those chains

Everyone’s tellin’ us, “You better know His name.”
Every blind man needs his cane

Yours are not my traditions
I cannot cure your regrets
We didn’t ask your permission
And I won’t wear your bible belt