Song of the Day #4,589: ‘Orpheus’ – Sara Bareilles

Today’s track was chosen as a favorite by Madison. ‘Orpheus’ appears on Sara Bareilles’ 2019 Amidst the Chaos and features a lyric that gave the album its title.

Amidst the Chaos was inspired by the 2016 election and its aftermath, and this song is an aching plea for optimism and love in the face of all that Trumpian ugliness. It feels great to feature ‘Orpheus’ a week after Trump slithered away, smaller than ever, and the country celebrated the inspiring inauguration of President Biden.

The reference to Orpheus reminds me of another 2019 work, the film Portrait of a Lady on Fire. That wonderful movie used the Orpheus myth as a metaphor for the fate of the two lovers. This beautiful song would have made for a great end credits selection for director Céline Sciamma.

I love the two Bareilles albums I own — Little Voice and Kaleidoscope Heart — but I hadn’t listened to this one. Another excellent find by Maddie!

[Verse 1]
Come by the fire, lay down your head
My love, I see you’re growing tired
So set the bad day by the bed
And rest a while, your eyes can close
You don’t have to do a thing but listen to me sing
I know you miss the world, the one you knew
The one where everything made sense
Because you didn’t know the truth, that’s how it works
’Til the bottom drops out and we learn
We’re all just hunters seeking solid ground

[Chorus]
Don’t stop trying to find me here amidst the chaos
Though I know it’s blinding there’s a way out
Say out loud, we will not give up on love now
No fear, don’t you turn like Orpheus, just stay here
Hold me in the dark and when the day appears
We’ll say we did not give up on love today

[Verse 2]
I’ll show you good, restore your faith
I’ll try and somehow make a meaning of the poison in this place
Convince you, love, don’t breathe it in
You were written in the stars that we are swimming in
And it has no name, no guarantee
It’s just the promise of a day I know that some may never see
But that’s enough, if the bottom drops out
I hope my love was someone else’s solid ground

[Chorus]
Don’t stop trying to find me here amidst the chaos
Though I know it’s blinding there’s a way out
Say out loud, we will not give up on love now
No fear, don’t you turn like Orpheus, just stay here
Hold me in the dark and when the day appears
We’ll say we did not give up on love today
We’ll say we did not give up on love today

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,589: ‘Orpheus’ – Sara Bareilles

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I have not done a deep dive into Bareilles’s albums, but like everything I know and have heard, including her wonderful work on Waitress.

    Maddie’s pick is lovely, in addition to being timely and fitting.

  2. Amy says:

    “I hope my love was someone else’s solid ground” is such a simple yet profound observation about how so many struggle through any times of hardship. Lovely.

  3. Maddie says:

    I’m always so consistently impressed with Sara Bareilles. She’s one of the artists who has a ton of content in my library and I tend to focus in on a song I’d heard a million times from her in a new way. I’d probably place her and Hozier at the top of my favorite poetic lyric makers, they both create such amazing turns of phrase and vivid imagery. I’m still bummed I couldn’t quite find the Hozier song I wanted in my list, because he deserves to be there. He actually also delved into Orpheus and Eurydice with his recent song “Talk.”

    I do think this song is so fitting for our time and I just find it to be gorgeous. Her voice is soothing to me in my most angsty moments. She’s the only artist I’ve seen perform at the Hollywood Bowl and at first glance it seemed like that huge venue would swallow her whole, but she fully occupied that space.

    Glad to see some love for her on the blog 🙂

  4. Peg says:

    Lovely song ❤️

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