Beck, “Beautiful Way”

Behind The Lyric

While some of the lyrics for “Beautiful Way” border on cliché, the song’s ethereal arrangement puts the lyrics in a dreamlike context, so that lines like “Egyptian bells are ringing when it’s her birthday” don’t have to make sense. While Beck lyrics can sometimes border on the absurd, the songwriter defended “Beautiful Way” as a heartfelt love song. With that in mind, the chorus refrain – “such a beautiful way to break your heart” – takes on a bittersweet quality. On the production end, it is rumored that both the pedal steel guitarists who appear on Midnight Vultures play on “Beautiful Way.” Greg Leisz, who appears on many of the recent T Bone Burnett projects, is joined by Jay Dee Maness, a session player with roots going back to Gram Parsons’ International Submarine Band’s Safe At Home, where the veteran guitarist provided a polish to Parsons’ early foray into country music. Maness plays the tight, quick country licks on “Beautiful Way,” while Leisz’s part is the chiming, sustained steel throughout. – DAVIS INMAN

“Beautiful Way”

Searchlights on the skyline
Just looking for a friend
Who’s gonna love my baby
When she’s gone around the bend

Egyptian bells are ringing
When it’s her birthday
Sweet nothing, I’m talking about you
There’s a hurricane blowing your way

Oh such a beautiful way
To break your heart
Oh such a beautiful way
To break your heart

There’s someone calling your name
It’s driving you insane

You were wearing that stained raincoat
And your umbrella was a tangled mess
You were washed up on the glittering shoals
Looking for another crime to confess

You bribed yourself
Out of a place in the sun
But you had some change to spare
So you said you wanna spend it on me
And shook the blues out of your hair

Oh such a beautiful way
To break your heart
Oh such a beautiful way
To break my heart
There’s someone calling your name

Written by Beck Hansen