The Weakerthans, My Five Favorite Songs


25 Oct 2009, 2:48

5) (Hospital Vespers)
Strangely, this track is more of an interlude than a song. One might think of it as part two of the Manifest/Hospital Vespers/Past Due trilogy, but on its own, this is a remarkably powerful song. Lyrically, it's a narrative about a man in a hospital, but the simple details, such as that man's fascination with the Arctic and his attempts at not rolling his "sunken eyes," make this really personal and touching.

4) Reconstruction Site
The title track off my favorite Weakerthans album has a slight alternative-country feel to it. John K. Samson also once again demonstrates why he is such a talented songwriter, creating a quirky but poetic tale about a family in the 70s, which is the most I can say regarding the subject matter. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what this song is about, although the line about the get-well card leads me to believe that the little boy is the younger version of the album's bedridden main character.

3) Night Windows
This was one of the songs that introduced me to the Weakerthans, and it is currently second place amongst my top played songs on Last FM. Put simply, it's a subtle, amazing indie-rock song, with minimalist instrumentation, but it's also so much more than that, and my struggle for a description obviously does it no justice. As a result, I tend to just put this song on mixed CDs for friends, telling them, "Since you like Bright Eyes, maybe you'd like this. Actually, I think you would love it."

2) This is a fire door never leave open
As a whole, the Left and Leaving album is (or at least according to my interpretation) about letting go and moving on as one finds him/herself embarking in a new stage of life. In fact, it was the last album I listened to before moving out of my dad's house after graduating. Could Left and Leaving be any more perfect? This song is one of the album's strongest chapters, with a haunting but beautiful refrain that brings it full circle... "Headlights race towards the corner of the dining room and half-illuminate a face before they disappear." It's undoubtedly vague, but when examined within the context of the song, it stands as poignant imagery of driving away from the past.

1) Aside
My one and only cell phone ringtone (which, unfortunately, does not get used as my phone is always on vibrate), "Aside" was one of the few upbeat songs on Left and Leaving. It's irresistibly catchy and honest, with my favorite Weakerthans chorus ever, not to mention one that I find myself singing on a regular basis. "And I'm leaning on this broken fence between past and present tense, and I'm losing all those stupid games that I swore I'd never play, but it almost feels okay." Samson clearly has a way with words, and the broken fence metaphor is certainly no exception.


  • andythesaint

    Aside was a close contender for my list.

    25 Oct 2009, 16:57
  • Soleil_Rose

    haha, I like Bright Eyes and Night Windows.

    29 Oct 2009, 1:56
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