There is no questioning Damien Rice is one of the best and most interesting Singer Songwriters of all time. His music has influenced countless musicians both indie and mainstream including pop sensation Ed Sheeran and breakout 2014 artist Hozier. Damien Rice has been a massive influence on my life and music and his sudden return to the music scene this year has inspired me to go back and listen to his catalog to find “The Best Damien Rice Songs Of All Time”
This was not easy and you may not agree but here it goes.
5. Song: Trusty and True (Album: My Favourite Faded Fantasy)
Trusty and True was the track that stood out most to me on Damien’s most recent release as something different, it has a very traditional sound to it and it’s message of coming together with your worst of enemies is a noble one. Watching Damien perform this live at his Chicago show was an amazing experience. Damien explained the premise of the song prior to the start and kicked it off with this statement “It’s a song about the Irish and the English, it’s a song about man and women, it’s a song about the person inside of you that you like and the person inside of you that you hate.”
He then ended by laying his guitar on the stage while backing off into the fog while the crowd sang the lyric “Come let yourself be wrong Come, it’s already begun” that stuck with me and is part of the reason I’ve added it to this list. Call me an optimist but the idea of people coming together regardless of differences is always a lovely concept.
4. Song: The Professor (Album: B-Sides)
It seems odd that one of an artist’s best songs would be a b-side, then again for an artist like Damien Rice it may not be so bizarre. The lyrics to this song are some of the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard. Relationships as a topic have to be one of the most overused in music, which though makes perfect sense can seem a bit boring. Every artist has songs about a breakup, or a hookup or… well you get the picture but this one is different. This song is more often than not saying the things we all think about the topic of relationships but don’t actually say out loud. My favorite line in this track is “Loving is fine if you have plenty of time, for walking on stilts at the edge of your mind” that line alone can just sum up about half of the adult relationships I’ve had. The lyrics and the very charming inclusion of the French sung “La Fille Danse” (translation “Dancing Girl”) at the end are part of what makes this number four on my Best Damien Rice Songs of All Time list.
3. Song: The Box (Album: My Favourite Faded Fantasy)
Speaking of songs that sum up about half of the adult relationships I’ve had enter another track from Damien’s latest release “The Box”. This track is the perfect example of Damien’s writing style and his ability to build a song throughout leading to a point of explosion. The lyrics to this track are again just perfect so it’s hard to pick a favorite line but mine would have to be “So don’t give me love with an old book of rules. That kind of love’s just for fools, and I’m over it” that is just perfect.
The strings in this track also just make for the perfect setting they evoke visions of an old black & white scene from countless films, just brilliant.
2. Song: Volcano (Album: O)
Volcano was one of the first songs I heard from Damien and is still one of my favorites. The alternating vocal parts, the perfectly placed cello line and Lisa Hannigan’s haunting backing vocals make this song just perfect. This was one of Damien’s most popular songs and often rings a bell to people who have no clue who Damien Rice even is. Favorite lyric “Don’t throw yourself like that, in front of me. I kissed your mouth and back, is that all you need?”
1. Song: The Blowers Daughter (Album: O)
Well we’ve come to number one on The Best Damien Rice Songs Of All Time list and if you’re still reading this I thank you.
The Blower’s Daughter, I first heard this song when I came across the video. I had no clue what it was I just saw Natalie Portman with pink hair swinging around a stripper pole so I stopped and took a look. Quickly the sight of Portman prancing around in lingerie quickly became secondary as the sound of this painful, repetitive line was being spoke “I can’t take my eyes off of you, I can’t take my mind off of you”.
There was so much love, obsession and pain in those lines that I was instantly drawn to it. This song led me to Damien and to countless hours of listening to O over and over wondering how someone could write music like this. My favorite line of this track is actually the final words that are said at the end, the statement that changed what I felt the song was about. “Until I find somebody new” After the lyrics “I can’t take my mind off of you” are sung over and over that phrase comes out and just completely changes how I feel about the song.
Well whether you agree with my choices of the Best Damien Rice songs of all time or not there is no denying Damien’s songwriting and his unique ability to pull listeners into his world making them feel a part of it.