So, it was my senior year of high school. Since we were seniors, we didn’t do much of anything. One day we took a “field trip” to the local movie theater. Being men, all of the male seniors went to see the manly, violent film, “Clash of the Titans.” We, of course, saw it in 3D. Anyway, this is beside the point. So we’re sitting in the theater and you know how before the previews they show those cheesy slideshow-like ads and play a bunch of songs? Well I’m sitting there in the theater and this song comes on and I was really, really enjoying it, and to my surprise, one of my good friends sitting next to me turns to me and says, “Yo, Joe, this is Trevor Hall! This is the guy I was telling you about!!!” And that was that. I was in love.
If the name Trevor Hall doesn’t ring a bell, I understand. He is very obscure, and when I am raving about him to friends/acquaintances/family members, I always have to stop and explain whom I’m talking about.
Trevor Hall is from a small town in South Carolina. He has long hair, which is usually in long, blonde dread locks. He is Hindi. Clearly, he is a different type of individual, one that most would consider a “stoner,” when, in fact, he doesn’t “get stoned” because it is against his beliefs (HA!). His uniqueness drew me to him. But most importantly, he spent his entire life studying music. Music is what governs his life. He expresses everything through music. He eats, sleeps, and breathes, music. It is his life. This obsession is what makes his music so darn good. His story draws you in, and then his music captures you.
Here’s an interview with Trevor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w2xEsQk8sw
As you see in the interview, Trevor Hall is very spiritual, and this is evident in his music also. He converted to Hinduism on his own at a certain point in his life, and a lot of this spirituality through Hinduism shows in his music. When you hear his songs, you can feel his passion for his art. He sings about so many different things, incorporating a great amount of his Hindi symbols. He references nature, he sings about love and unity and being one with God, above. Wine, Lime trees, mango trees, lions, the sky, stars are just a few things mentioned in many of Trevor’s songs. It’s just really cool how he can fuse the two things he is most passionate about, his music and his faith.
This is Trevor’s most well known song, The Lime Tree: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65V8-h5k_JA
Another song, All I Ever Know. This is a live performance, and seeing him perform this is just breathtaking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsOxqIX9OsM
His voice; his mellow, catchy acoustic melodies; his ability to just take over your spirit and your mind; all of these things come together to create an indescribable atmosphere. The spirituality and the passion are palpable. His positive message and his “chill” personality make everything more enjoyable. Trevor Hall is just an unbelievably talented, unique, loving, passionate individual. Just look at the videos, above. Listening to his music and hearing him speak and seeing him perform tell it all.
He is, without a doubt, my favorite artist of all time (and seeing him live for the first time solidified this love I have for his music. I may or may not have shed a few tears…yeah, I’m not afraid to admit it). That being said, I wanted to create a poem to show my appreciation for Trevor’s work. I want to use this poem as an ode of sorts. I want to dedicate this poem to Trevor’s work and just say THANK YOU! He has been an inspiration since the first time I heard his music. He inspired me to learn guitar and to pursue faith. His music is what I turn to when I am not feeling great, when I’m in a good mood, when I need to feel inspired, his music is basically what I listen to all day, every day. He is deserving of a “thank you,” at least from myself because of what he has done for me and for my life.
This poem, written in the style of Jonathan Lethem is focused on honoring Trevor Hall. As I mentioned before, Trevor focuses on themes of love and of peace and unity, and these references are constant in many of his songs (Hopefully you were able to see this in the videos I have posted). In my poem, I decided to use Trevor’s lyrics that resonated with me most. In my poem of thanks, I decided to focus on the theme of love.
I combed through my Trevor Hall playlist on iTunes and found a bunch of his lyrics from his songs that were important to me. I used them as inspiration, and then created a poem about a man’s love for a woman. Many of the lyrics that I used have retained the same meaning as Trevor Hall intended in the original song, but some have had their meaning changed due to the change in context as not all of the lyrics I’ve used came from a song about love.
I kind of started with a bit of a rhyme, but it tailed off towards the middle and in the last stanza I included a rhyme. I thought this style represented Trevor’s music well because his music has structure (my initial use of rhyme), but it’s very unique and free flowing (transfer to free-verse), but in the end, it’s still music, but it’s special (rhyme at the end).
The key here though, is that I used Trevor’s music in a similar way that he does. Out of respect for Trevor’s work, I tried my best not to change his lyrics. But some, like the “lime tree” and the “simple sip of wine,” were used in a different context as you heard in the lime tree video, so I had to make minor tweaks in order for the lyrics to fit the theme of the poem: love. As you will see, I took a lot of Trevor’s symbols and ideas with his lyrics that I included, but the remainder of the poem is my own work. The work I did was in the style of Trevor Hall. I used my own references to nature when writing this poem. I really tried to capture that palpable spirit and passion that Trevor exhibits in his works in writing my poem. I felt that since I wrote this poem in order to honor Trevor’s work, I needed to stick with his style and try and use the same stylistic mechanisms as Trevor does, also. I don’t know much about the Hindu religion, so that aspect was hard, but I stuck with focusing on one of Trevor’s common themes, love, and I showed this using Trevor’s style.
The interesting thing is that Trevor Hall uses a lot of the same ideas in a lot of his songs, but they usually mean something different in each song. I really like that about this piece, because I am able to use a lot of my favorite lyrics and ideas, although they may have their meanings altered in different contexts, and use them to represent one of Trevor’s greatest passions: Love. My appreciation is shown in my re-appropriation of Trevor’s style, as well as my focus on one of Trevor’s passions. Hopefully, the information I provided you earlier will allow you to appreciate Trevor’s work and understand my poem.
For so long I’ve lived with no path to follow,
No shelter to cover me, in my heart’s a hollow,
I lived with my feet on the ground and my head in the sky,
And finally my life changed the day you walked by.
5 If my brain is the cloud, my heart is a bird,
That flies across the soundscape of your words,
Rainstorms, above the city, draining from a hole in the sky, seem to stop its flight,
But this bird needs to find a safe way through.
10 Your love is a lime tree,
And I seek comfort in your branches,
I want you to be my shelter from skies above,
The stars in these skies are like my heart full of love.
I want to show you that my love is pure,
15 I ask for nothing more.
I want to show you that my love is real.
For you have stolen my heart
As you take a simple sip of wine,
Like blood, it runs through your veins,
20 Each vein, a different road connecting our souls,
These many roads lead me to you.
Tell me, my love, am I dreaming?
You have rescued me from the cold,
And lifted me out of my madness.
25 Without you I would be a bitter man,
Trapped in the darkness.
Fire is burning around me.
Our love has set my life ablaze.
Are you gonna burn with me too?
30 Cause I don’t really want this life.
All I really want is you.
Key: Trevor Through Me
All sections and words that are bolded are taken directly from Trevor Hall songs. Most are direct quotations from his songs, but I have edited some of them to better fit my poem and its flow.
Te Amo is actually the title of a Trevor Hall song. Te Amo, meaning “I love you” in Spanish, was a fitting title, since my poem is all about a man’s love for a woman. This title was taken directly from a Trevor Hall song of the same title, which has the same theme.
The Poem, Itself (in chronological order):
“…my feet on the ground and my head in the sky…” From the song, “Ghosts” by Trevor Hall from the album, Elephant’s Door.
“…above the city, draining from a hole in the sky…” Taken from the song, “The Lime Tree,” from the self-title album, Trevor Hall. These words were slightly adjusted and reworded to fit the tense of the poem.
“…Lime Tree…” Another idea taken from “The Lime Tree.”
“…I want you to be my shelter…” Taken directly from the song, “Te Amo,” from his most recent album Everything, Everytime, Everywhere.
“…The stars in the skies are like my heart full of love…” taken from the song “Many Roads” on the album Trevor Hall. This was reworded, also, for the sake of my poem. The real lyric is “A sky without its stars / A Heart without its love.” Although my use of this lyric doesn’t encompass the same feeling, it was inspired by Trevor’s original line.
“I want to show you that my love is pure, / I ask for nothing more. / I want to show you that my love is real…” These lines (basically the whole verse) were taken from the song “31 Flavors” also on the album Trevor Hall.
“…a simple sip of wine…” Another line taken from “The Lime Tree.”
“These many roads lead me to you…” Also taken from “Many Roads.”
“Tell me my love am I dreaming…lifted me out of my madness…Fire is burning around me…Are you gonna burn with me too? / Cause I don’t really want this life. / All I really want is you.” The final few sections were all taken from the song, “Te Amo” as well. Again, I made a few adjustments and tweaks from the original lyrics, but still the meaning remained mostly the same.
In revising this piece, the biggest change came in the style of writing. I changed my piece from a “paper” to a digital article. I’m a big fan of blogs, so I thought I’d write this as a pseudo-blog. I really wanted it to feel personal like a blog and I wanted my voice and opinions to be clear. Another reason I thought this style would be fitting is because of Trevor Hall’s obscurity. Since he is very, very little known, I thought it would be important to include some links of interviews and songs in my piece, that way readers could get a feel of Trevor and his music, which would hopefully allow for a better understanding of my poem.
Another major change was the organization of my piece. With the conversion to a digital piece involving videos and interviews, I thought I should include a background of Trevor Hall and what he means to me and why he has impacted me to the point of creating this poem to honor him. This background section was perfect for my pseudo-blog as I could give information and then give my opinions and voice my feelings for Trevor and his music. This was placed at the beginning of the piece, rather than at the end with my explanation as in my original. The poem was then moved to the end of the piece. This way, I could give a “bloggy,” opinionated feel and also inform my reader of Trevor BEFORE my poem, giving them things to look for and again, hopefully allowing a better understanding once they get to the poem.
Finally, I made some changes to my reflection that I gave in the first writing of the piece. Because I composed a brand new information section, I was able to remove some sections of my original reflection/analysis paragraph and focus my analysis on the poem completely. I also changed some of the ideas mentioned in that analysis because they seemed hurried and didn’t make much sense. Most of my revisions to this were done to help keep the piece flowing without repetition or confusion. I also added some more explanation to this section, just to explain, in depth, what I was trying to do with this piece and how I was going to do it.
I did not make any changes to my key or to my poem, except for the addition of line numbers in order to make the poem more professional looking, and I removed the bolded sections of excerpted lyrics to allow the reader to read without the distraction of these bolded words. I was very happy with my poem and felt like it was a very good representation of Trevor’s work and that he would be proud of it, so I decided not to change it.
First, I want to thank Trevor Hall for the person he is and for his passion, not only for life and for his faith, but also for his art, music. I want to thank Trevor for his inspiration through his music as well as his life. I also want to thank my classmates and my professor, for their creative genius generates and inhibits my creativity. I also want to thank Matthew Craig for introducing me to the wonder that is Trevor Hall’s music. I hope that Trevor continues to produce music of unbelievable quality and that he continues to inspire people other than myself.