The people you’ve been before
That you don’t want around anymore
That push and shove and won’t bend to your will
I’ll keep them still
Between the Bars – Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith died on October 21, 2003 at age 34 from two stab wounds to the chest. According to MTV.com, he was pronounced dead at Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center.No piece of art haunts me more than his post-humus album entitled, From A Basement On A Hill. The anguish, pain and depressed overtones against the bleakness of his web-like and pained voice and aching lyrics evoke more emotion than I can express in words.
The world’s loss of Elliott Smith is a great one, unsurprising, but great. I truly believe that his stab wounds were self-inflicted. The sorrow and self-abuse so prevalent in songs such as Needle in the Hay and Between the Bars leave no doubt in my mind that a dark tunnel was his only way into the light.
Smith’s tidal wave of suicide-inspired music will live on, his pain and suffering will affect and impact, and soak into us for decades to come.
A music video produced for singer/songwriter Madeleine Peyroux’s soulful cover of Elliot Smith’s hit Between the Bars