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Useless Magic

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Lyrics and never-before-seen poetry and sketches from Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine. "Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don't know what I'm trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn't do anything to stop it, so it seems like a kind of useless magic." Lyrics and never-before-seen poetry and sketches from Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine. "Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don't know what I'm trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn't do anything to stop it, so it seems like a kind of useless magic."


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Lyrics and never-before-seen poetry and sketches from Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine. "Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don't know what I'm trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn't do anything to stop it, so it seems like a kind of useless magic." Lyrics and never-before-seen poetry and sketches from Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine. "Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don't know what I'm trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn't do anything to stop it, so it seems like a kind of useless magic."

30 review for Useless Magic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    ”I guess I won't write poetry I'll just stare at my phone for fucking eternity” a mood ”I guess I won't write poetry I'll just stare at my phone for fucking eternity” a mood

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amalia Gkavea

    ‘’Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don’t know what I’m trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn’t do anything to stop it, so it seems like a kind of useless magic.’’ Florence Welch Important information: My mother has been successfully initiated to Florence coven. Mission accomplished. Who wouldn’t fall in love with this outstanding book? A sublime piece of Art by a unique artist. Florence Welch is l ‘’Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don’t know what I’m trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn’t do anything to stop it, so it seems like a kind of useless magic.’’ Florence Welch Important information: My mother has been successfully initiated to Florence coven. Mission accomplished. Who wouldn’t fall in love with this outstanding book? A sublime piece of Art by a unique artist. Florence Welch is like an elf, a witch, a fairy, an Ophelia straight out of the paintings of Pre-Raphaelite artists. A songwriter and poet, inspired by mythology, Art, Literature. By life itself. So, let us leave the word to her… There’s a ghost in my mouth And it talks in my sleep Wraps itself around my tongue As it softly speaks Then it walks, then it walks Then it walks with my legs (“I’m Not Calling You a Liar’’) Now there’s no holding back, I’m ready to attack My blood is singing with your voice, I want to pour it out. The saints can’t help me now, the ropes have been unbound I hunt for you with bloodied feet across the hallowed ground (“Howl”) And oh, poor Atlas The world’s a beast of a burden You’ve been holding up a long time And all this longing And the ships are left to rust That’s what the water gave us ( ‘’What the Water Gave Me’’) And now all your love will be exorcized And we will find new saints to be canonized It’s an evensong It’s a litany It’s a battle cry It’s a symphony (“Seven Devils”) Oh the queen of peace Always does her best to please It isn’t any use Somebody’s got to lose Like a long scream Out there always echoing Oh what is it worth When all that’s left is hurt (“Queen of Peace”) I’m worried we are entering an age of rage Where only anger will be considered an asset And the gentle will be mocked, then eaten. Those with soft voices will have their tongues cut out, As punishment for not using them the right way. Don’t you know your words are weapons, Kindness is obsolete, As obsolete as handwriting, As obsolete as silence and darkness in a city. (“Rage”) Now, if this poem isn’t the truest mirror reflecting our screaming society and the mob of the Twitter rebels, hiding behind a screen and dreaming revolutions while sitting comfortably on their sofas, eating pizza, I don’t know what is… ‘’I don’t know what makes a song a song and a poem a poem: they have started to bleed into each other at this stage, You can have everything.’’ See photos of this glorious book on my blog: https://theopinionatedreaderblog.word...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Florence Welch has been such an important person in my life for years now. Her music is one of a kind, her words full of meaning that can left you feeling so full or so empty. Everything is full force or simmering within your veins. I love it all.

  4. 5 out of 5

    ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

    ➽ And the moral of this reread is: Saint Florence please pray for us puny mortals. (Florence Welch prayer candle available for sale here. A joke this ain't not.) [April 2019] I want to be Florence Welch when I grow up. “I make songs to tie people to me, With a ribbon of fantasy around their necks Such a beautiful bow That I hold in my fist. And will not let go.” · Drumming Song · How Big How Blue How Beautiful · Big God · You’ve Got the Dirtee Love · Dog Days Are Over · Cosmic Love · Delilah · Rabbit ➽ And the moral of this reread is: Saint Florence please pray for us puny mortals. (Florence Welch prayer candle available for sale here. A joke this ain't not.) [April 2019] I want to be Florence Welch when I grow up. “I make songs to tie people to me, With a ribbon of fantasy around their necks Such a beautiful bow That I hold in my fist. And will not let go.” · Drumming Song · How Big How Blue How Beautiful · Big God · You’ve Got the Dirtee Love · Dog Days Are Over · Cosmic Love · Delilah · Rabbit Heart · Patricia · Never Let Me Go · St Jude · Shake It Out · Howl · Hunger · Queen of Peace ·

  5. 4 out of 5

    kimberlina

    florence welch is my wiccan gf

  6. 5 out of 5

    Harry McDonald

    ((God knows how I managed to acquire a copy of this a week before its publication fate – bought it at the same time as I bought the latest album, High as Hope. Foyles on Charing Cross Road had a few rogue copies out so I bought one before they realised what they’d done.)) Useless Magic is the first collection of writings (verses?) from Florence Welch, most notable for being the frontwoman of Florence + The Machine. She’s often acclaimed for her vocals, and the band is often praised for the brilli ((God knows how I managed to acquire a copy of this a week before its publication fate – bought it at the same time as I bought the latest album, High as Hope. Foyles on Charing Cross Road had a few rogue copies out so I bought one before they realised what they’d done.)) Useless Magic is the first collection of writings (verses?) from Florence Welch, most notable for being the frontwoman of Florence + The Machine. She’s often acclaimed for her vocals, and the band is often praised for the brilliant noise that it makes, but her lyrics are rarely commented on. Seeing them here, stripped of their music, stark on the page illuminates firstly, just how brilliantly Welch captures sadness, and secondly, just how dense they actually are. Packed with literary allusion and mythic inspiration, each lyric seems to be in conversation with something else, be that another text, or something larger. Organised here by album, you can chart how the almost triumphantly drunk Lungs give way to the darker, more difficult, water-soaked Ceremonials, through to How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, which certainly seems to be Welch at her happiest, to the latest lyrics of High as Hope, which are subtler, more subdued. The book itself is shot through with imagery; lyrics are separated by and punctuated with photographs, paintings, postcards, scraps of Welch’s handwriting (one of the most pleasing things about this book is learning that just like me, Welch seems to write on anything and everything she can get her hands on.) Some of the images are recognisable, like The Lady of Shallot, others are not, more obscure references to pop-art, and many are Welch’s own. The images, like the lyrics, shift as the book progresses. It feels completely seamless, after all, Welch herself looks as though she’s toppled out of the frame of a Raphaelite painting. The most interesting part of the book is the part that hitherto has been inaccessible to her fans, that is, her poems. She writes in her brief preface that she is unsure what marks a poem as different to a song, but from a reader’s perspective, it seems that her songs weave her life into a tighter patchwork of allusion and repetition, focusing on moments, whereas her poetry feels more overtly confessional, or autobiographical. In shorter, clipped verse (apparently Nick Cave helped her edit) she covers more ground, sketching out swathes of her life in no times at all. And as you read, you start to notice recurring ideas, words. Some are more obvious than others – Ceremonials is famously full of songs about water – and others accumulate, ideas of ghosts and gods, demons and drink, years and arms. It feels larger than words, which is I suppose what makes them brilliant lyrics. They feel mythic, magic maybe – useless or otherwise.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katie.dorny

    This was okay for me. I enjoyed seeing the visuals that accompanied the songs (poems) but other than that it did not blow me away at all. It just seemed a bit like a scrapbook - it was cute but 90% of it wasn’t original material for the book. For some reason I thought it would be. I love Florence and the Machine and I’m glad I read this. It’s lovely to look through.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adelina

    I LOVE YOU FLORENCE YOU BEAUTIFUL FOREST NYMPH

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    "I guess I won't write poetry I'll just stare at my phone for fucking eternity" "I guess I won't write poetry I'll just stare at my phone for fucking eternity"

  10. 4 out of 5

    Makenzie

    I'M SO EXCITED THIS IS A THING!!!!!!! I'M SO EXCITED THIS IS A THING!!!!!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Silvia

    Holy fucking shit Florence

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    “I don’t know what makes a song a song and a poem a poem: they have started to bleed into each other at this stage.” It surprised me how, reading them stripped of their catchy melodies, the lyrics that stood out to me weren’t necessarily those of the songs I like to listen to on repeat. I loved this scrapbook-type collection of notes, paintings, polaroids, postcards, maps, which chronicles her creative journey and shows how she seems to find inspiration in everything that surrounds her.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rue

    Okay. Woah. Um... I listened to 4 albums back to back. It somehow felt like a whole new experience because I went through the lyrics along with it this time. I think there are some days when you let the melody take control over you and the other days when you let the lyrics sink in. I felt both today. And Now I am all charged up!! Okay. Woah. Um... I listened to 4 albums back to back. It somehow felt like a whole new experience because I went through the lyrics along with it this time. I think there are some days when you let the melody take control over you and the other days when you let the lyrics sink in. I felt both today. And Now I am all charged up!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anneloes

    Considering how much I love Florence, how could I have loved this any less? It's like her soul. Considering how much I love Florence, how could I have loved this any less? It's like her soul.

  15. 4 out of 5

    shar

    there’s something magical about her and her writing that hits you where it hurts - it’s a really raw and stark honesty i haven’t seen in anybody else, or connected to as much. i’ve listened and kept up with florence for six years, and this honesty of hers hasn’t changed but she’s gotten alot better at expressing it, especially with this album. so glad she’s published this collection of lyrics and poetry, it’s a slice of beauty that’s kept me alive for so long x

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    Can I give this book 5 stars already?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Iulia

    I'm not a Florence and the Machine fan, but I did enjoy going through this book. However, for my taste, there were far too many song lyrics and far too few poems. On the bright side, the arrangement of pictures and notes give Useless Magic a cute, charming quality, which I suppose would be even more appreciated by a devoted fan of their music. I'm not a Florence and the Machine fan, but I did enjoy going through this book. However, for my taste, there were far too many song lyrics and far too few poems. On the bright side, the arrangement of pictures and notes give Useless Magic a cute, charming quality, which I suppose would be even more appreciated by a devoted fan of their music.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Renata

    So I had this on my TBR for so long and I finally read it. I always recommend this type of books during exam weeks because it relaxes me and I don’t have to be too much into it, I don’t know how to explain in but it’s not the same connection I need for a whole novel. So anyway, this was interesting and I absolutely loved the art and the pictures, but I guess I don’t know how much I liked the lyrics? But overral it was an interesting read and the perfect one to read when you’re a little bit stres So I had this on my TBR for so long and I finally read it. I always recommend this type of books during exam weeks because it relaxes me and I don’t have to be too much into it, I don’t know how to explain in but it’s not the same connection I need for a whole novel. So anyway, this was interesting and I absolutely loved the art and the pictures, but I guess I don’t know how much I liked the lyrics? But overral it was an interesting read and the perfect one to read when you’re a little bit stressed :)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Devann

    actual rating: 2.5 I really like Florence + the Machine but I just don't understand the 'point' of this book. Most of it is literally just reprinting the lyrics of every song off every one of her albums. I mean ...yes she has great lyrics but that is why I LISTEN to the MUSIC, or if I need to look a lyric up there are about 50 websites dedicated to just that. There are a handful of original poems at the end, but the majority of the text here is stuff we've already seen [or heard]. There's some co actual rating: 2.5 I really like Florence + the Machine but I just don't understand the 'point' of this book. Most of it is literally just reprinting the lyrics of every song off every one of her albums. I mean ...yes she has great lyrics but that is why I LISTEN to the MUSIC, or if I need to look a lyric up there are about 50 websites dedicated to just that. There are a handful of original poems at the end, but the majority of the text here is stuff we've already seen [or heard]. There's some cool drawings, pictures, and artwork [both original and reprints of classic pieces] but overall it's just not enough to sell this book for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Décio Coelho

    "To give yourself over to another body That’s all you want really To be out of your own and consumed by another To swim inside the skin of your lover Not have to breathe Not have to think But you can’t live on love And salt water’s no drink We're dying of thirst so we feast on each other The sea is still our violent mother The blood round here pours down like water Each wave a lamb lead to the slaughter And like children that she just can’t teach We break, and break, and break And break ourselves upon the bea "To give yourself over to another body That’s all you want really To be out of your own and consumed by another To swim inside the skin of your lover Not have to breathe Not have to think But you can’t live on love And salt water’s no drink We're dying of thirst so we feast on each other The sea is still our violent mother The blood round here pours down like water Each wave a lamb lead to the slaughter And like children that she just can’t teach We break, and break, and break And break ourselves upon the beach" To me, one of the most powerful poems Welch has ever written.

  21. 5 out of 5

    rafaella

    3.5 (it’s hard rating it) This is essentially a collection of lyrics, Florence’s thoughts, artwork and poems. It was nice reading the lyrics without the music because you could focus on them more but I just wish there was more extra content. This is the second music kinda book I read and it was good but was just expecting a bit more. My favourite lyrics/quotes: “Leave all your love and your longing behind You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive” “Midas is king and he holds me so tight Tur 3.5 (it’s hard rating it) This is essentially a collection of lyrics, Florence’s thoughts, artwork and poems. It was nice reading the lyrics without the music because you could focus on them more but I just wish there was more extra content. This is the second music kinda book I read and it was good but was just expecting a bit more. My favourite lyrics/quotes: “Leave all your love and your longing behind You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive” “Midas is king and he holds me so tight Turns me to gold in the sunlight” “And the arms of the ocean are carrying me And all this devotion was rushing out of me The crush is a heaven, for a sinner like me But the arms of the ocean deliver me” “raise your love hold it high let it shine for miles and miles” “One grand moment is all I ask” “We raise our voices and let our hearts take flight Get higher than those planes can fly where the stars do not take sides” “from you the flowers grow and do you understand with every seed you sow you make this cold world beautiful” “And it’s hard to write about being happy because the older I get I find that happiness, is an extremely uneventful subject” “I like people who’ve seen some darkness The haunted ones. I like people who don’t claim to know what love is The honest ones.”

  22. 4 out of 5

    BookChampions

    Useless Magic is a music fan's dream! I'm pretty sure someone unfamiliar with Florence Welch (or her band, Florence + the Machine) would find this book worthwhile, although anyone would have to admit that the book is oh so pretty. The rich maroon cloth binding to the stunning photography on heavy paper—it's essentially an Instagram feed in book form. If you are new to Florence, go listen to her records and fall in love with her! But for longstanding fans, this is such a special glimpse into the Useless Magic is a music fan's dream! I'm pretty sure someone unfamiliar with Florence Welch (or her band, Florence + the Machine) would find this book worthwhile, although anyone would have to admit that the book is oh so pretty. The rich maroon cloth binding to the stunning photography on heavy paper—it's essentially an Instagram feed in book form. If you are new to Florence, go listen to her records and fall in love with her! But for longstanding fans, this is such a special glimpse into the creative mind of the artist. It includes nearly all her lyrics, a handful of poems, and a ton of sketches and jottings ripped from journals and stray pads of paper. Her lyrics really hold up to being read without the music to accompany them, and the poems definitely felt like a glimpse into her writing process. It's such a beautiful package that I'm left wishing I could have a book of this quality for all of my favourite singers. (Hint, hint, Tori Amos. Please do something like this.)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Meghan Hughes

    I found this book to be so beautiful. I love how the pages were filled with notes & to-do lists turned song lyrics or poetry. It had pretty little images, drawings, & scribbles of ideas woven between Florence's wonderful words. This woman is so talented. Reading her lyrics on pages was such a different experience than hearing the song or reading the lyrics on my phone. Her poetry section at the end was so great I wish it had been longer! This was a lovely read for me. Great coffee table book for I found this book to be so beautiful. I love how the pages were filled with notes & to-do lists turned song lyrics or poetry. It had pretty little images, drawings, & scribbles of ideas woven between Florence's wonderful words. This woman is so talented. Reading her lyrics on pages was such a different experience than hearing the song or reading the lyrics on my phone. Her poetry section at the end was so great I wish it had been longer! This was a lovely read for me. Great coffee table book for sure! This hardcover, fabric-bound book... It's too stunning to sit on a shelf! Wonderful... just wonderful.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader)

    I listen to Florence + the Machine every day. Her music has been there for some of the saddest and happiest moments of my life. I'm going to see her in September and I will cry. I. Need. This. I listen to Florence + the Machine every day. Her music has been there for some of the saddest and happiest moments of my life. I'm going to see her in September and I will cry. I. Need. This.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sasha Gabrielle Atlas Blue

    "Say my name And every colour illuminates We are shining And we will never be afraid again" THIS! This is how I want my poetry to be. This is how I'd want my Instagram to be. Flornce Welch's entire being is just so dreamy and magical and of course the music is too good to not listen to. I'm listening to Shake It Out as I write this. "Say my name And every colour illuminates We are shining And we will never be afraid again" THIS! This is how I want my poetry to be. This is how I'd want my Instagram to be. Flornce Welch's entire being is just so dreamy and magical and of course the music is too good to not listen to. I'm listening to Shake It Out as I write this.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Candice

    I've wanted this one for a very long time and it was everything I wanted it to be. I've wanted this one for a very long time and it was everything I wanted it to be.

  27. 5 out of 5

    roxi

    i love this book with all my existence

  28. 4 out of 5

    Isabella

    ⚠️🚨WARNING: GREAT TANGENTS ABOUND🚨⚠️ Rating: 5 stars Ah! Review! Need to actually write something about this book! It was... (hang on a sec, just going to consult my virtual word dinosaur): good. Really good. So good, it is worth five stars. (Bet you couldn't guess that.) Yeah! Now I can insert this at the beginning to make people think I actually wrote sensical stuff! Florence + the Machine have been my favourite band for a while now. I even have one of their vinyl records (yes, I am hip and cool ⚠️🚨WARNING: GREAT TANGENTS ABOUND🚨⚠️ Rating: 5 stars Ah! Review! Need to actually write something about this book! It was... (hang on a sec, just going to consult my virtual word dinosaur): good. Really good. So good, it is worth five stars. (Bet you couldn't guess that.) Yeah! Now I can insert this at the beginning to make people think I actually wrote sensical stuff! Florence + the Machine have been my favourite band for a while now. I even have one of their vinyl records (yes, I am hip and cool and have a turn table *finger guns*). I guess that couldn't be helped, (I sense a tangent in the Force...) as growing up pretending everything from soap holders to rubber ducks was The Yellow Submarine in the bath (thank you Dad) and telling my peers that The Beatles were better than One Direction (did not get much support for that one) could only lead me in one direction (haha. Sorry, bad pun). (I can already tell this is going to be more like rambly word vomit about my taste in music than a review. Sigh.) I have always loved more rock-type music, which isn't as common now, so I ended up finding my favourite songs were all from sometime between late 60s to early 90s. Also, at this time my family had shoddy internet, and we only used it for school work and that was pretty much it (Netflix hadn't come to my country yet). So my primary source of music consumption was through my parent's rather large CD collection. That, along with sneaking into my nana's computer room whenever I was at her house so I could watch the newest "cool" song's music video only once and then tell my friends the next day "oh yeah, I know that song" and be swag and skux (whatever those words meant). Anyway, I stumbled upon David Bowie (around the beginning of high school maybe...?) with Life On Mars? and oh my giddy aunt I loved that song so incredibly much. Hey, who am I kidding, that song has been my top song every year since then - I still love it to death. To put it in perspective, I have a playlist called Life On Mars? Playlist and it contains one song (give you one guess as to which song) and I put it on "shuffle" and listen to it for hours, days on end. No joke. All of a sudden I didn't care what the new songs were. I didn't even try to keep up with anything. My love for Life On Mars? inevitably expanded to all of Bowie's stuff (fun fact: when I first found Bowie I didn't have much internet access, like I mentioned before, so I always pronounced his name BOW-ie, as in take a bow, and it wasn't until many years later when I realised it was BOW-ie, like tie a bow) and now I have all the Bowie things. Like, if someone asks what I like, I rattle off a few books (obviously); Doctor Who, Star Trek and Star Wars I lump into one; and then I say David Bowie. But this is not about Bowie, is it. It's about Florence + the Machine. (That was a huuuuuuuge tangent. I really need to put a warning up about that, yikes.) I guess they come in sometime around that time, maybe before or after. I just know the first song I heard of theirs was What Kind of Man, a single before their third studio album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Or, well, that was the first song I heard and actively knew was theirs. The whole album came out not long after and aaaaaaahhhhhh it was so good. I then realised that Ceremonials, their previous album, I had also listened to and loved, I just didn't know it (remember, I was still an internet-less caveman at the time). Now, HB,HB,HB is still my favourite album of The Machine's, and one of my favourites of all time (tempting, but I'm not going to list off all my top albums, this has gone on long enough as it is) with Various Storms and Saints being a particularly special song for me personally. Again though, this is not about the band, it's about this book: Useless Magic. (Well, I guess because all of the lyrics were written down I can kind of justify rambling like this.) But I have gone on for what feels like 100000 pages now, and I have no space left to comment on the actual book (sigh, again). I guess I can say with confidence that Florence Welsh is a poet and she bloody well knows it. Metaphors are completely lost on me, and so poetry is really hard, but even I can see the talent here. But that needs to be the end now. Not much time for actual reviewy stuff. Well, it would have just been trillions of quotes from this masterpiece of a book. Everyone has probably done that already though, so go read their reviews if you want something sensical. And if you're looking for nonsense blah blah blah about things nobody cares about, well, I'm always here.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aljoša

    This book is a mix of poems and songs. As Florence puts it in the preface: "I don’t know what makes a song a song and a poem a poem: they have started to bleed into each other at this stage." I've already known the beloved songs because I love Florence, but I must admit that she'd picked the most poem-y (is that a word?) songs to put in this book. As for the original poems, I loved all of them and I liked the structure of this book. What I really love about this book are doodles and scribbles done This book is a mix of poems and songs. As Florence puts it in the preface: "I don’t know what makes a song a song and a poem a poem: they have started to bleed into each other at this stage." I've already known the beloved songs because I love Florence, but I must admit that she'd picked the most poem-y (is that a word?) songs to put in this book. As for the original poems, I loved all of them and I liked the structure of this book. What I really love about this book are doodles and scribbles done by Florence. Florence is always 5/5.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jas

    I loved this. Though most of the book was lyrics from her albums, it was different reading the words. It was different seeing them alone, without the big gospel sounds typically accompanying them. I also noticed that I was mistaken about a few lyrics! The poetry section was also lovely. And the artwork and pictures were beautiful and fun.

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