The Stable Song feels transcendental. The first time you listen you get absorbed in the intro, it's soft but evocative. For the entire song in fact, nearly the same exact guitar strums continue. By the time Gregory Alan Isakov starts singing you are already invested. It's like Holocene, but more relatable; the lyrics are more intelligible and sung in a more familiar register. In the version of the song performed with the Colorado Symphony the strings help carry each bridge into the next verse. The strings don't feel out of place, they help convey the moving emotion but never overpower the guitar and rarely stand in front of it. The song although feeling simple, hardly is, much like the best folk songs. The mistake listening to folk is conflating simplicity with value, when the value is really in depth. Isakov said: "I always say now that it’s just a poem about everything."
The lyrics are metaphoric and take on a different meaning with each listen.
Now I’ve been crazy couldn’t you tell I threw stones at the stars, but the whole sky fell
By throwing stones at the stars, he recounts rejecting some belief and finding that it causes more to unravel inside him.
Ring like silver, ring like gold Turn these diamonds straight back into coal
He wishes for things to turn back to a time when things were simpler, asking if it's worth it to put energy into what is only a potential diamond.
The Stable Song is poetic and bears a religious tone. Each listen almost forces you to reflect in "sweet reverence".
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