The Greatest Songs of All Time: The Diamond Sea

From Various Thoughts on Music

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I’m going to write about some of the greatest songs of all time. Some
songs are not only classic, but they are also musically, lyrically,
artistically pure and genuine, beautiful. I will discuss what the songs
mean to me, why they are great, as well as information about where you
can listen to these songs, when they are from, where they are from,
where they were recording, as well as other miscellaneous information.
It should be fun!

The Diamond Sea by Sonic Youth

The song itself is from 1995 and was written by Thurston Moore. It
was first released on the brilliant Washing Machine album. There are
three versions of this song: The album version which is 19 minutes and
35 seconds, a radio edit which comes in at 5 minutes and 26 seconds,
and an extended version which is an amazing 25 minutes 50 seconds. It
was released in 1995 as the first single from the Washing Machine
album, the single has the radio edit and the extended version of the
song, as well as the song My Arena. There was a video created for the
song which used compiled footage from the 1995 Lollapalooza tour, Spike
Jonze and several other well known directors were involved in the
creation of the video.

The lyrics read:

time takes its crazy toll
and how does your mirror grow
you better watch yourself when you jump into it
cause the mirror’s gonna steal your soul
I wonder how it came to be my friend
that someone just like you has come again
you’ll never ever know how close you came
until you fall in love with the diamond rain
throw all his trash away
look out he’s here to stay
your mirror’s gonna crack when he breaks into it
and you’ll never ever be the same
look into his eyes and you can see
why all the little kids are dressed in dreams
I wonder how he’s gonna make it back
when he sees that you just know it’s make-believe
blood crystallized to sand
and now I hope you understand
you reflect into his looking-glass soul
and now the mirror is your only friend
look into his eyes and you will see
that men are not alone on the diamond sea
sail into the heart of a lonely storm
and tell her that you’ll love her eternally
time takes its crazy toll
mirror falling off the wall
you better look out for the looking-glass girl
cause she’s gonna take you for a fall
look into his eyes and you shall see
why everything is quiet and nothing’s free
I wonder how he’s gonna make her smile
when love is running wild on the diamond sea

To me, these are some of the greatest lyrics ever written. The
combination of the lyrics and the music make for not only one of my
favorite songs of all time, but a song which I believe is one of the
greatest ever recorded. The music is simply gorgeous, a masterful
composition of sound invading, pummeling it’s way down your ear canals.
At some points you won’t know if you want it to stop or not, but you
will most certainly continue listening, waiting for that breakthrough
of pureness and beauty that we are all so hopeful for. At times the
song can seem a sonic stillbirth, an amalgamated abortion of sounds
destroying your eardrums and you know it, yet you turn it up a little
louder.

The lyrics are much the same. They are an expansive
journey inward and within ones deepest self, tickling our egos and
insecurities in ways that we never thought were, and hoped not
possible, especially from this punk band from New York. What were they
doing writing like this, playing 20 minute explosions of emotion,
touching us on nearly every level? This was unchartered territory for
the band, a new and great discovery to be shared with everyone that
wanted to expand their musical horizons.

Lyrics written,
interpreted as I may, looking, digging, finding, deep within oneself,
some deeper meaning of what is of a real, actual value, and what isn’t.
Exploring how not only this revelation affects you, but how others
around you, in your life and out, affect you just the same. Discovering
and overcoming whatever insecurities that you personally may have had
by ripping them to shreds with words and feedback seemingly from
another planet, certainly from another level, a level that we were most
definitely not on until The Diamond Sea.

Then in the end, we
come to an understanding and hopefully even an acceptance of what we’ve
come to realize by the end of the song. We have been a witness to true
artistic beauty and that can never be taken away from us. In one single
song we have learned to search, find, explore, and then understand and
accept the innermost feelings that we allow to be affected.

That’s just it: The Diamond Sea, just like any other music, is what it
is, and is what you make of it. If we allow ourselves, then we end up
seeing and understanding that these things are not of any great
importance, and only then are we able to break from our bonds and
prejudices, whatever they may be, and truly be free.