Mystery – Beth Orton

Song: Mystery
Album: Sugaring Season
Performer: Beth Orton
Writer: Beth Orton
Year: 2012

I came across this song in the summer of 2013. That summer I discovered the wonderful website Brainpickings. They curate really interesting and thought provoking content, often focusing on various aspects of psychology and philosophy among other topics. I really enjoy the site’s “Literary Jukebox” which pairs songs with quotes from literature. That’s how I discovered this song.

It absolutely captivated me. It’s one of those songs that can transport you into a meditative state so gently, really without you even noticing. The song feels like eternity to me, like every note is stretched out to be the size of the universe.

There is a sustaining organ pedal throughout with soft acoustic guitar and smooth, languid violin/viola lines. Beth Orton’s melody milks the life out of every note and provides so much sonic comfort. The lyrics are also so inviting and full of stillness:

Come and rest your bones
You look awful tired
Fall soft upon the thought
Mystery is born

This song provided me a lullaby that I desperately needed that summer and it always leaves me in a more centered and calm state of mind each time I come back to it.