I chose Beautiful Birds by Passenger and Black Flies by Ben Howard as a pair. I believe both songs lyrics relate to each other. They are about an old, ruined love, a relationship they used to have once before. Acoustic guitar is used softly in common as instrumentation. I think the tones of the vocals agree with the instrumentation. The music is slow in both songs which makes it easier to focus on the lyrics more than the instrumentation.
Once you hear both songs, they give you the sad and crying kind of feeling.
I suppose, Beautiful Birds is a story about two people who loved each other a lot and were very happy together. The guy always compared his girlfriend to something bigger and better than himself until the girl asked him to change one day. Although he gave it a try to do what she asked him for but failed in the end. Regarding his failure, she ignored all the effort, the love, how much they shared together and basically decided to end it up.
He explains this like a book tearing out every page meaning that putting up a book together takes a long time just like building up a relationship does. But he accepted it because by the time was passing, they could not see the love in each other anymore. Even though they wanted to know if they would make a great couple.
Likewise, Black Flies is a story about an old ruined love.
Unlike the first story, Black Flies is more like about two people that always had a barrier (given as windowsill in the story) between them which they tried to get out of but failed each time. Although he has moved on, she left a huge place which nobody can fill in or nobody like her can be found. He always thought she was a lot better than him. He confirms that he was not perfect in the line saying, No man is an island, this I know, but she never saw the good in him either. However, he is finally over the fact that they were done forever because he says, Comfort came against my will and thinks every story must grow old story referring to their relationship. Surprisingly, in the end, he still wonders if she would stop or let him go but does not ask her why because he got tired of it all.
Personification is used in both titles which they compare human to an animal such as birds in Beautiful Birds and flies in Black Flies.
Both songs are referring to an ex-girlfriend and written for them.
Another personification similarity in Beautiful Birds in which he describes his girlfriend by comparing her to the sun and himself to an apple. However he, later on, changes it by comparing her the moon and himself the sun. Similarly, in Black Flies he describes his girlfriend by comparing her to the ocean and himself to stone.
Maybe you were the ocean when I was just a stone – Black Flies
You were orange and red like the sung when it sets – Beautiful Birds
In the given lines above, the comparison here means that both guys were feeling like their girlfriends were a lot better than them. While one was comparing his girl to the sun and himself to an apple and in the other song they were being compared to the ocean and stone. So, the girls here are being the big, important and precious things while the boys were just small simple things. The only difference I felt here is that in Beautiful Birds the comparisons were changed as the moon and the sun. This time the sun presented him, and the moon presented her. I think this comparison was made because he finally understood that she was not any better than him. Simply they were not right for each other just like day and night.
Another similarity I came across was that seasons were used in both songs.
Winter stole summers thrill – Black Flies
Those were the last days of spring – Beautiful Birds
In the lines above, he uses summer as the good old days, when they used to be happy until winter comes and overshadows the beauty of the good days and there is no more excitement left in their relationship over the time. Likely, in the second line given, last days of the spring refers to their relationship coming to an end day by day and it was the last days of their relationship because he failed to do what she asked him for.
I believe, Beautiful Birds goes from positive to negative unlike Black Flies. Because Black Flies only gives the reader/listener the negative feeling and is regretful. Both of these songs are bringing the past back and talking about memories. There are regret and sadness in both stories.