Favorite Quotes

Chat and sip. Beret optional.

Moderator: Ginny

jayminers
Howdy, Stranger!
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:04 pm

Favorite Quotes

Postby jayminers » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:14 am

Hi, I'm Jay. Not a frequent poster (although I should add I do a bit of stalking on this forum), but I'm a huge fan of Vienna Teng, and I thought of this...

I'm not sure whether or not there is already a discussion topic on this, but Vienna Teng has sure said a lot of eloquent things in her life—in lyrics, interview answers, Facebook statuses etc. So why not compile a list of favorite quotes Vienna has ever said?

Here's one of mine (via a video floating around on YouTube—I can't seem to find it):

"The way to make the world a better place is to get good at something, enjoy your working on the things you do, and help others using that skill."

As far as lyrics go, I think a lot of Vienna's lyrics make me go whoaaa when they're taken in as a whole, like each line is a piece to the big picture ("No Gringo" comes to mind). At the same time, I think Vienna is a brilliant writer, and some of the lines she composes are just beauty standing alone. Like, ahem:

"An old world made new on same holy ground."
(St. Stephen's Cross)

"So we just hold on fast, acknowledge the past
as lessons exquisitely crafted
painstakingly drafted
to carve us as instruments that play the music of life."
(Eric's Song)

"This sudden burst of sunlight, and me with my umbrella, cross-indexing every weather man's report."
(Stray Italian Greyhound)

So yeah, would love to hear what everyone else's favorites are too! :)

aaparallel
Getting Stranger
Posts: 397
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:19 am
Location: San Jose, CA
Contact:

Postby aaparallel » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:02 pm

Hi Jay!

Oh man, most of what Vienna says and writes is gold. I love reading the scrapbook entries and listening to interviews. Even her tweets are well-written. I'll just post what comes to mind at the moment, because there are too many...

Tweet: I hear you little voice, your upwelling. The bends begin. I see you in hallways, in diagrams. It's 5 am as always, when you say hello again.

Interview quote (paraphrased): My parents had a practical reason not to want the kids practicing violin in the house. The piano is a forgiving instrument... when you play badly on the violin it just sounds like cats dying.

Song lyric (from "Daughter): And you're talking about things / Interesting just slightly / And things that matter too much / To say anyway but lightly
Last edited by aaparallel on Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Drowning my pain in lemonade. . . Singing along to 'feelin' alright'"

Fred
Tengster
Posts: 767
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:55 am
Location: NY metro area

Postby Fred » Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:50 am

That exact quote from Eric's Song is printed out and clipped to the first page of my copy of the The Moment Always Vanishing book. It's my favorite epigram from Vienna's lyrics. (When I eventually got Vienna to sign the book, she wrote a very thoughtful message of her own, so the Eric's Song quote remains paperclipped in, to this day.) I use an epigram from somebody else's lyrics in my signature here because I figure everybody here already knows Vienna's lyrics.

Probably my favorite long-form post by Vienna is a blog entry called You Are the Light, from August of 2005 or 2006 in the Scrapbook. It tells me, in a way I can understand viscerally, what music means to her. I go back and re-read it every year or so.

Yeah, she's a heck of a writer. I have some other favorite musicians/bands who/that get by mostly on performance rather than songwriting (Carrie Rodriguez and Red Molly, for instance), but mostly not. The ones you find in that "top 5" row in my Facebook profile are all great writers as well as great performers: Vienna, Josh Ritter, Dar Williams, Richard Shindell, Over the Rhine.
Ain't praying for miracles, I'm just down on my knees
Listening for the song behind everything I think I know
And everything I think I know is just static on the radio.

Michele
Strange
Posts: 870
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2003 1:11 am
Location: Exit 47

Postby Michele » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:13 pm

Great topic, Jay, thanks for delurking and posting your idea :lol:

I'm finding I'm having trouble with it, though...I feel I'm drawn more to how VT sets up and describes things, more than I can pick out stuff that's quotable.

For example, I like how she makes metaphors for little things:
http://viennateng.com/scrapbook/2007/03/wien/
"my inner GPS failed me"

As a writer, endings elude me. So I love Vienna's great endings:
http://viennateng.com/scrapbook/2006/05/in-motion/
"There is another side to everyone. There is a part of themselves that you can see only when the light is just right."
http://viennateng.com/scrapbook/2006/05 ... and-place/
"And New Orleans, Cafe Du Monde open again for beignets, the trio playing the sidewalk circuit at dusk, but moving out of town soon (“it’s just too hard to make it work here”), and the stark white HELP still scrawled on an crumbling roof near I-10—for them I did Passage. Let there be apples on the little tree next year, please, let the lover fall in love anew. It won’t ever be the same, but it can be good again."

I've combed through the scrapbook (I miss the tour reports! Twitter don't cut it for me) and I'll go through interviews next. I just need more time, but this is this subforum's 10000th post, so I'm taking it. ;)

Fred
Tengster
Posts: 767
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:55 am
Location: NY metro area

Postby Fred » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:39 pm

Michele wrote:http://viennateng.com/scrapbook/2006/05/for-each-time-and-place/
"And New Orleans, Cafe Du Monde open again for beignets, the trio playing the sidewalk circuit at dusk, but moving out of town soon (“it’s just too hard to make it work here”), and the stark white HELP still scrawled on an crumbling roof near I-10—for them I did Passage. Let there be apples on the little tree next year, please, let the lover fall in love anew. It won’t ever be the same, but it can be good again."

Michele,
I had forgotten that one; thanks for bringing it back. So well written. I was in a kind of lull at work when I first discovered Vienna's music, the Forum, the Scrapbook, etc., and I had the chance to read it all end to end. That's years back now, my duties have increased, my time diminished. I meant to go back and read it all with educated eyes, but I can't, so I'm happy to have you recall it for me.
Thanks,
Fred
PS, thanks for the work you do keeping the Forum going. As this thread demonstrates, it's not just for the small number of us that post over and over again. Others are benefiting from it too.
Ain't praying for miracles, I'm just down on my knees
Listening for the song behind everything I think I know
And everything I think I know is just static on the radio.

Reileen
Total Teng-Head
Posts: 518
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:47 am
Location: Grand Chokmah
Contact:

Postby Reileen » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:05 am

In the midst of procrastinating on a book cover illustration due this Friday, so I might return to this later when I'm not as pressed for time.

Off the top of my head --

*There was a quote I really liked from a recent newsletter that I cannot find verbatim anymore (and I swear I had it saved somewhere, grr), but it was Vienna talking about the seedlings project, and how some of the seedlings she ended up producing were "footprints left behind as I was walking around looking for what I wanted to say" or something like that. (If one of y'all could get me the quote, that would be fabulous!)

*Mission Street: "The more that I am wrong, the more that I am right." It's a simple turn of phrase, and not quite the most evocative...but I like the lesson that it implies, of making mistakes in order to get things right. Or something like that.

*Flipping through printouts I made of a bunch of VT's scrapbook posts (there, I've just admitted what a creepy stalker I am) I found this interesting tidbit from August 11, 2001: "Good lyric-writing is like staring straight at something and painting what you see in your peripheral vision." I'd actually be interested to learn whether she's expanded on or changed this particular songwriting philosophy.
"You've made us swear our souls to you
And blamed us for your poisoned grace."


Reileen van Kaile
http://www.voxgraphicastudio.com

aaparallel
Getting Stranger
Posts: 397
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:19 am
Location: San Jose, CA
Contact:

Postby aaparallel » Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:51 am

Reileen wrote:*There was a quote I really liked from a recent newsletter that I cannot find verbatim anymore (and I swear I had it saved somewhere, grr), but it was Vienna talking about the seedlings project, and how some of the seedlings she ended up producing were "footprints left behind as I was walking around looking for what I wanted to say" or something like that. (If one of y'all could get me the quote, that would be fabulous!)


I'm pretty sure that quote is in the most recent newsletter with all of the seedlings in one place. Just that the page doesn't seem to load when I click on a link to that newsletter.
"Drowning my pain in lemonade. . . Singing along to 'feelin' alright'"

Michele
Strange
Posts: 870
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2003 1:11 am
Location: Exit 47

Postby Michele » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:23 am

The rest are footprints left from wandering around, looking for the shape of what I really want to say.


Funny how that echoes the "strings of this guitar" line of Mission Street. It seems the process never gets easier...

Ang Mo
Tengster
Posts: 1661
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 11:17 pm

Postby Ang Mo » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:37 am

I think one of my favorite quotes of hers is "I have a lot of weird fans" :lol:
--the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved once and for all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?

jayminers
Howdy, Stranger!
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:04 pm

Postby jayminers » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:24 pm

"...Let there be apples on the little tree next year, please, let the lover fall in love anew. It won't ever be the same again, but it can be good again."


Particularly loved this one, Michele!

I've been scrawling down Vienna's lyrics during the boring parts of Psychology lecture lately, and have fallen in love with City Hall again.

"If they take it away again someday, this beautiful thing won't change."

My favorite line of the song. It's so heartbreakingly touching.

I'm beyond thrilled that this topic had so many responses. Thanks, guys!

Michele
Strange
Posts: 870
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2003 1:11 am
Location: Exit 47

Postby Michele » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:24 am

http://twitter.com/viennateng/status/19086198322
Oh you scramble eggs over LOW heat. My life has changed this morning.


I only recently got around to trying this out. Found instructions, and now my husband claims my scrambled eggs are better than what we get when we go out to eat.

(I promise to scrounge up some more quotes soon...maybe more that involve food though)

Amy @ Deep South
Cool Stranger
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 5:54 pm

you guys are awesome

Postby Amy @ Deep South » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:15 pm

hi there folks. just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed all of your responses to this topic! i love vienna's writing. she has a way with words. it's almost as if she makes the words dance together and paint a lovely picture regardless of the topic at hand.

a somewhat recent Vienna tweet that I enjoyed...
"I've become pretty fond of you, statistics, but in final-exam form you're borderline abusive. Let's take some time apart, shall we?"


Return to “The Cafe”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest