Song of the Day #200 – The Milk Carton Kids

After ten months and 200 articles, this is my last Song of the Day for a while. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series — it’s been a labor of love. For my last entry, I’m featuring a song called Permanent, which I had the good fortune to see performed live a few nights ago. The Milk Carton Kids, comprised of LA-based singer/songwriters Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, form a powerfully synergistic package: talented singers with exquisite harmonies, complementary guitar styles (Ryan plays rhythm to Pattengale’s amazing improvisational skills), superbly original songs and laugh-out-loud stage patter. On top of all that, the lyrics to this song are beautiful (reproduced below). The last line is one of the best I’ve ever heard.

Permanent by Joey Ryan

Well I think I’m gonna work construction
Just to make something of myself
I can’t live off these childhood trophies on my shelf
Now I wanna get my hands dirty
I wanna feel a burning in my legs
I want more than the receipt for what I paid

Because everybody loves something new
Cause you can open it and plug it in
And it feels like a good night’s sleep
Like the girl you like paid you a compliment
They can keep the change and they can keep it coming
They can talk to who’s listening
But I’m still looking for something a little more permanent

I am not a poet
Show me the easy way and I’ll do it
No one could ever say that I’ve been trying way too hard
Cause everything that I have ever owned
Got dusty and old
So I threw it out just to make myself some room

I’m like everybody, I love something new
Cause you can open it and plug it in
And it feels like a good night’s sleep
Like the girl you like paid you a compliment
They can keep the change and they can keep it coming
They can talk to who’s listening
But I’m still looking for something that I can die with

If my luck is running out
Please don’t let it be so with love
It’s been a long year but I’m not ready to give up
Cause even if I lay ten million bricks
And they break through the summer haze
Someone’ll come around and bulldoze ‘em down some day

Because everybody loves something new
You get rid of what came before
And it feels like a long hot shower
Like getting in your bed when the sheets are warm
They can keep construction and they can keep coming
And I won’t be listening
Cause I found something a little more permanent
Oh yes I found someone that I can die with

Bonus video: here’s another great live performance; this song is called Queen Jane.

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