• Why I Love Daniel Johnston

    29 Jun 2007, 0:15

    Daniel Johnston is a prolific singer/songwriter who cut his first album in the early 1980s. He suffers from severe manic depression and bi-polar disorder, which directly influences his music.

    A lot of people who hear Daniel think he can't sing and his songs are too simplistic. If anything, he is an acquired taste. His music is simplistic, but still shows an interesting layering of almost childlike lyric with a darker, more adult tone. His music is so gut-wrenchingly personal and emotional, I can't help but feel involved in one of his songs.

    One of my favorite songs by Daniel can be found on his live album Fun called, Silly Love. The lyric to the song has a very simple rhyme scheme and a very straightforward message: "I am heart broken. I am just broken." This is a recurring theme in Daniel's work, as many of his songs are based on an unrequited love he experienced in his college years.

    The themes found in Daniel's work are ones many people can relate to and he articulates his emotion without eloquence, which can be refreshing in contrast to the loquacious lyrics of An Angle or Bright Eyes. Daniel is able to be just as expressive, if not more, as songwriters who are known for their expressiveness while saying much less and that is why I love Daniel Johnston.