“Between the Bars” is my Favorite Elliott Smith Song, and one of my all-time, forever Favorite Songs. It is Track four from Elliot’s 1997 Album, Either/Or. It is also one of three Songs from Either/Or that was used in the Film Good Will Hunting, which is the first place I ever heard Elliott’s Music.
There is a deep sadness in this Song, guttural and visceral and raw. Darker parts of me live in this Song, in the sadness and the desperation, the isolation, and the love. I understand this Song in ways I sometimes I wish I didn’t. Other times, I’m so grateful for this Song. That it exists. That it helps me feel so alone. And, that it has inspired so much of my own writing.
“Between the Bars” (live) by Elliott Smith
originally from the Album, Either/Or (1997)
“Drink up baby,
look at the stars,
I’ll kiss you again between the bars,
where I’m seeing you there,
with your hands in the air,
waiting to finally be caught.”
Elliott’s Music means so much to me. Some days I lay back and listen to his albums, and as they spin circles on my turntable I wish I could turn back time and bring him a plate of cookies and a bottle of something strong, offer him a soft place to land, or at least an ear to listen. I would wish for an afternoon to talk and maybe write together, and gift him some kind of hope that would be enough to stick around. Though cookies, and liquor and a warm embrace never saved the ones I lost in my life to addiction and suicide, either. A girl can wish though, can’t she?