Flower on the Vine

When I was working, weekends and vacations were times to savour early mornings listening to music from my collection or from one of a few Internet radio stations whose styles I liked.

I used to listen to CBC Radio 3, but in 2015 they stopped employing live hosts (a few notable ones being Lana Gay, Tariq Hussain, Raina Douris, and Grant Lawrence — though he still does voiceovers and podcasts… he has a great, homey, slightly gravelly kind of voice). But for me, the automated station lost its personality and vibe. I only listened sporadically in the following year or so and haven’t been there more than a half-dozen times in the last few years.

It likely would have been Radio 3 where I first heard the Montréal, Canada indie rock band the High Dials’ song, “Flower on the Vine,” from their 2015 album In the A.M. Fields. I purchased the track from the iTunes Store late in the morning of Christmas Day, 2015.

The Apple Music app says I’ve played it 82 times. It is an easy song to listen to with its soft synthesizer intro, which dissolves in and out of a minimalist, loping beat strung along by the acoustic guitar line.

Unlike yesterday’s song, which tells about (figuratively) building a home, today’s track begins with the singer telling how his house is old and crumbling, his world in decline. “Flower on the Vine” seems to be about one overwhelmed by life and bad choices (“The weeds grow high / They choke out the light…”). But then he focuses on the delicate beauty of a flower on a vine. I think it inspires him to stop his self-destructive behaviour (“I’m half-alive or maybe dead / Murdered by whiskey and wine…”) and to become more like the blossom, opening up to life and love (“And I will go on singing / Oh blossom divine…”). There is a soft hopefulness as the song fades.

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy. And if you like the song, please buy it to support the artists who made it.

Here’s the audio for the song from the High Dials’ Bandcamp album page where the song is available from USD 1.00 (or the full album, from USD 10.00).

I searched, but couldn’t find lyrics, though the vocal is quite clear, so I hope you can catch the gist of the words.

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