Of all the artists in my music collection, Dar Williams is one of the few whose songs I would just as soon read in a book as listen to on record. That’s not a criticism of her voice or melodic gifts — she’s pretty great on that front as well — but a testament to the power of her poetry.
Because Williams is a poet, a label I wouldn’t assign to most songwriters. Songs are generally meant to be listened to, not read, and laying them out on paper (or a computer screen) makes that very obvious. And I don’t mean that as a criticism to most songwriters… I’m guessing they fully appreciate the difference between song lyrics and poetry.