Laura Marling–Goodbye England (Covered in Snow)

Aside from her keenly observed lyrical honesty, Laura Marling’s great strength is her wide-ranging emotional delivery.  Both talents are clearly on display in one of her most nakedly vulnerable songs, Goodbye England (Covered in Snow).  As she weaves the story of leaving a relationship gone sour (or maybe it was always sour, but she was too in love to see), Marling traverses from fragile to fiery, from scared to empowered, with raw candor.  Few writers and singers can transition so effortlessly from delicacy to strength, but the whole gamut is gamely on display here.  And it’s not a strength in being vulnerable that I’m talking about.  Marling has the ability to be don’t-fuck-with-me tough.  She doesn’t quite find that level in this song, but she does display admirable resolve in the face of doubt.  “I’m on my own/it’s too hard,” she cries, after leaving behind a crumbling relationship, but she knows that she deserves better.  She has labored over a kiss-off and knows exactly what she needs to do. “I wrote an epic letter to you/It’s 22 pages front and back and it’s too good to used/I tried to be a girl who likes to be used/But I’m too good for that,” she proclaims.  She is buoyed by her friends and family  who promise: We will keep you, Little One, safe from harm/Like an extra arm, you are a part of us.  Their support gives her the freedom to move on.  She begins and ends the song with the same memory of her lover looking “smart” in the snow.  The first time around it seems like an image she’s trying to hold onto, but by the end of the song it’s clear she’s finding the courage to release it.

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