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149: Antony & the Johnsons: ‘Epilepsy is Dancing’

Posted by jeff on Feb 14, 2019 in Other, Song Of the week

Antony & the Johnsons — ‘Epilepsy is Dancing’

Antony & the Johnsons — ‘Cut the World’ (video) Caution: Disconcerting content.

Within each of us is both the bully and the victim.

You see someone, on hir knees, crying from pain. You walk past. Or you snicker. Or you throw something. Or you tie hir to a fence and beat hir to death. Or you stop and open your heart and and through hir pain embrace your own pain. And perhaps you feel just a bit more in harmony with your own personal universe.

It’s too easy to guffaw at Antony Hegarty (b. 1971) – his ‘questionable sexuality’, his naked candor, his queerness – a British>Californian transsexual who creates  minimalist art vignettes of pain and death and spirit and the universe as Antony & the Johnsons.

Art isn’t created by adhering to conventions, and Hegarty is an artist to be reckoned with. Since 2001 he has composed a heavenly host of ephemeral miniatures, which he plays on piano accompanied by a small string section, singing in the tremulous voice of a tortured angel. Each song is a prayer.

He can wrench you in a straightforward love song, such as ‘Hope There’s Someone’, or in a cover of a hackneyed contemporary standard, such as ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ or even ‘Imagine’.

But more frequently he moves in liminal, harrowing climes, such as in ‘Cut the World’.

For so long I’ve obeyed that feminine decree/I’ve always contained your desire to hurt me/But when will I turn and cut the world?//My eyes are coral, absorbing your dreams/My skin is a surface to push to extremes/My heart is a record of dangerous scenes/But when will I turn and cut the world?

From the video ‘Cut the World’, directed by Nabil, starring Willem Dafoeand Carice van Houten. The person at the end of the video is performance artist Marina Abramović.

‘Cut the World’ is the one new song on his brand-new CD of the same name, a collection of his ‘greatest hits’ (‘I Fell in Love with a Dead Boy’, ‘Cripple and the Starfish’), lushly accompanied by the Danish National Chamber Orchestra (oh, those great Danes!). This video is a horrifying harbinger of his vision of matriarchal systems of government overthrowing the world.

Be forewarned: this video is seriously disconcerting. It’s not for everyone, watch it only if you’re feeling very strong. Or very weak. I’m not going to comment on it — you don’t need me to explain the obvious, and I can’t explain the mysterious.

From his monologue ‘Future Feminism’: “I’ve been thinking all day about the moon. Is it an accident that women menstruate once a month and that the moon comes once a month? We’re made of 70% water. The whole ocean reacts to the full moon. I must be having a homeopathic relationship with the changing cycles of the moon. I’m made out of this place…The world menstruates.”

One of his most indelible creations is the perplexing ‘The Spirit Was Gone’. The video portrays a dance in the style of Butoh, an avant garde post-WWII Japanese performance aesthetic, often danced ultra-slowly in a sparse, grotesque setting in white makeup. One of the founders was Kazuo Ohno (1906-2010!!!), a captain in Hirohito’s army, a Baptist, and a gym teacher at a girls’ high school till the age of 86. In his 90s, unable to walk, he continued performing – moving only his hands. His picture is on the cover of Antony’s finest CD, “The Crying Light”. The dancer in this video is Kazuo Ohno’s son, Yoshito.

The spirit was gone from her body/Forever had always been inside/That shell had always been intertwined/And now were disentwined/It’s hard to understand.

If you’ve gotten this far, I assume you’re not laughing.

Antony and the Johnsons is a wonderful example of just how effective minimalism can be in genres as ranging far as contemporary classical music, trance, architecture, design, art. I discussed minimalism as an aesthetic in SoTW 086, Steve Reich’s ‘Different Trains’.

In Hegarty’s work, less is so clearly more. The power of his songs and videos derives from the strength of the visuals, the directness of the passion, and the restraint in presenting them devoid of any distractions. He stares unflinchingly into the eye of his own soul; and, if you allow it, into yours.

For our Song of The Week then, let’s unflinchingly choose one of his more challenging pieces, ‘Epilepsy is Dancing’, a subjective portrayal of an epileptic seizure. Neurologist Oliver Sacks, one of my favorite authors, describes some epileptic seizures as inducing “the flow of involuntary ‘reminiscence,’ the sense of revelation, and the strange, half-mystical ‘dreamy state’ that could be characteristic of these.” “Epilepsy is often associated with religious or mystical feeling.”

Epilepsy is dancing/She’s the Christ now departing/And I’m finding my rhythm/As I twist in the snow//Cut me in quadrants/Leave me in the corner/Ooh now, it’s passing/Ooh now, I’m dancing

Here’s the video of ‘Epilepsy is Dancing’. If I were going to have a religious epiphany, I hope it wouldn’t include cavorting gay satyrs and nymphs, but who knows what subconscious party favors he/she harbors within? Antony says he’s been thinking in terms of ‘molecular crystal formations’. I have no idea what that means. He gave a concert in Manchester in which the concert hall was transformed into a crystal cave filled with laser effects, and I’m truly sorry I missed that one.

But when he sings “Cut me in quadrants, leave me in the corner”, that I do get. It’s not a comfortable place, but it’s a very real one. I don’t listen to Antony and the Johnsons every day. But when I do, I sure don’t laugh.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:

021: Mal Waldron & Steve Lacy, ‘Snake Out’
086: ‘Different Trains’, Steve Reich (Kronos Quartet)
110: Mongolian Throat Singing (The Occidental Tourist)

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110: Mongolian Throat Singing (The Occidental Tourist)

Posted by jeff on Jul 19, 2018 in Other, Song Of the week

Two cool cats doing their Mongolian Throat Singing thing.

Two cool cats

I guess everyone knows that Mongolian throat singing is a style in which two or more pitches sound simultaneously over a fundamental pitch, producing a unique and vibrating sound. And I guess most people also know that the singer does this by manipulating the resonances which are created as air travels from the lungs past the vocal folds and out the lips to produce a melody.

You may be as surprised as I was to learn that when people speak of Mongolian throat singing, they probably mean Tuvan throat singing. Tuva just doesn’t get its just due. It’s a proud republic of good old Mother Russia to the west ofMongolia. So one can empathize with the neglect those Tuvans must feel when everyone just lumps them as satellite ofMongolia. But apparently those who distinguish between the finer nuances of Mongolian and Tuvan throat singing spend more time kayaking on icy rivers than surfing the internet, because I couldn’t find a single coherent explanation of the difference between them. So I’ll just stick with my unfortunate fuzzy preconceptions.

Steppes

Mongolian throat singing has enjoyed quite a fad in the West in recent years. Here’s Bela Fleck covering one of Tuva’s Greatest Hits, ‘Alash Khem’, with the help of a guest throat singer who looks like he’s having a very good time up there. But we all know that that his kimono was made in Honduras, because the guy’s wearing an ear monitor. Still, he seems like a very good-natured guy. So here’s what appears to me to be the real thing, as far as I can figure it out (which admittedly ain’t too far) –  two ultra-cool dudes flashing their chops (somewhat literally) while they’re watching the river flow (wholly literally).

More Steppes

I don’t mean to leap into stereotyping Southern Central Asians, but they seem like a very cheerful sort of folk. It could be that my attitudes are colored by a story a guy named NM. once told me:

While I was hitch-hiking across Siberia in 1992, on my way from Novosibirsk to Kamchatka, I decided to take a detour through Mongolia. I really wanted to see a Bactrian (two-humped) camel. There aren’t many roads in rural Mongolia. Just lots of steppes. There are trails, but they’re more recommendations than proscribed paths. You just pick a direction and go. Which is what I was doing when this little old truck came along. I flagged it down. Folks didn’t see a lot of occidentals out there, let alone backpackers, so I guess I might have looked rather strange to them. Anyway, they did stop the truck, and I asked them where they were going. They smilingly told me their destination was a town (the demographic definition of a town in those parts is at least three yurts and two yaks) vaguely in my direction, about eight hours by steppe path. So I asked if I could travel with them. I told them I’d give them money for gas, and they smilingly agreed.

(L to R) Yurt, truck

I tossed my backpack in the back of the truck and climbed in. There was Pa Enkhbayar, Ma Enkhbayar, and three little Enkhbayars.

JM: How did you communicate?

NM: A little bit of Russian, a little bit of Chinese. Not a problem.

So we were rolling along, having a real good time. I was juggling for the little Enkhbayars, which kept them out of their parents hair for a while. After a few steppey hours, we came upon a nicely decked-out yurt. Pa Enkhbayar suggested we stop for a break and a repast, and I readily agreed. The hosts seemed rather nonplussed by our unannounced visit, despite the fact that there didn’t seem to be much traffic of locals on that particular steppe, let alone waigouren (foreigner) hitch-hikers.

(L to R) Yurt, horizon

They graciously asked us into their yurt. Before we sat down to eat, they showed me how to wash my hands in the traditional fashion. You fill your mouth with water from a canteen, yak-gut I think, then gradually release a stream of water onto your hands, rubbing them together. It works pretty well, actually. Then we sat down to eat.

JM: What was on the menu?

NM: Oh, I don’t think you want to know that.

Two cool bactrian camels having a woo!

Anyway, after the meal, they asked me if I’d like to play a game. “当然”, I said, and they brought out the paraphernalia from under the yak-hair mat. It consisted of a board; a long, narrow strip of handwritten paper with symbols and numbers, and four yak molars. They explained to me that each molar (right upper, right lower, you get the idea) had six faces (a small stretch of the imagination), each with its own unique shape which (to them) resembled another animal (dog, Bactrian camel, yak, you get the idea). I had a hard time discerning that. They explained that each participant in his turn rolls the molars, and according to the way they land, you consult the list of possibilities (dog-dog-yak-camel, for example) on the long, thin strip of paper and win a certain number of points, apparently in accordance with how common or rare that roll of the molars was. The winner of the game was the one who accumulated the most points. See, games are the same all over the world.

Urban Mongolia

NM: No, we were playing for woo.

JM: What’s ‘woo’?

NM: You know, “Woo!” Fun. Excitement.

JM: Oh.

I didn’t quite grasp the nuances of how the points were allocated, but they said I’d catch on as we played. Well, we were rolling along. I didn’t really understand too much, but we were all having a real good time, everybody smiling and laughing and smiling. Each one would roll the molars in his turn, they’d consult the long, thin strip of paper, and give out points. I really wasn’t sure how the competition was going, but it didn’t seem like anyone cared too much about that. They were just in it for the woo. But then after we’d been playing a while, it was my turn, and I rolled the molars. The host consulted the long, thin strip of options, and got this puzzled look on his face. He showed the handwritten strip to Pa Enkhbayar, who got the same puzzled look.

I asked what was wrong. They showed me the list, and the roll of the molars, and explained that my roll wasn’t on the list. They’d been playing Yak Dice for many centuries, and this had never happened.

(L to R) Yak, Yak owner

Well, I knew about Aces & Eights in poker and the tritone (diabolus in musica) in harmony, and I was just a little afraid of what the ramifications of my roll might be. But they kept smiling, and it seemed that nothing more had happened than a major woo. But it did seem pretty clear that no one wanted to press fortune further, so the game was over.

The Enkhbayars all made their good-byes and went out to the truck. I was thanking the hosts, telling them what a great time I’d had, when I heard the engine start up and the truck begin to drive away. I ran out of the yurt, hitting my head on the low opening, and saw that in fact the Enkhbayar truck was bouncing across the steppes toward the Mongolian horizon. “Wait!” I shouted. “Wait!! My backpack!!” Which of course had my passport, my money, and my other pair of socks. I was running as fast as my Western legs could carry me, eloquently pleading “Wait!!!”

Why was Pa Enkhbayar doing this? Had he just been waiting for the ripe opportunity to steal my bag? Was he afraid to transport a waigouren who made unnatural rolls of the yak molars?

Finally, after what seemed like five kilometers worth of steppes, the truck slowed down and allowed me to catch up. I ran to the window to see what had motivated Pa to behave so unexpectedly.OlePaEnkhbayar was laughing away. Laughing and smiling and laughing, and slapping his Mongolian knee. It seems he had been playing a practical joke on me.

I was too out of breath to do much laughing or even smiling myself, but when I think back on that day, it seems to me that the Mongolians really are a pretty good-natured people.

Well, NM, I guess you would know. All I know is that these two cats show no little aplomb, however the yak molars fall.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy:

030: The Bulgarian State Radio and Television Women’s Choir (Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares) – ‘Pilentze Pee’

068: Hermeto Pascoal, ‘Santa Catarina’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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115: Astor Piazzolla, “Tango: Zero Hour”

Posted by jeff on Jun 14, 2018 in Other, Song Of the week

Quiz: For which artist do you need to ask the salesperson, “Where do I find CDs by this guy, in Jazz, Pop or Classical?”

The answer, of course, is Astor Piazzolla, inventor of the New Tango. Most music salespeople won’t have heard of him, especially those in América del Norte. But there are legions of listeners around the globe, not just in his native Argentina, who recognize him as one of the most original and outstanding musical voices of the last hundred years.

Piazzolla reinvented a folk genre (traditional tango) as an art form, not dissimilar from what Duke Ellington did to jazz, what the Beatles did to rock and roll, what Bob Dylan did to folk music. He was a consummate musician on an instrument no one’s heard of (the bandoneon, a clunky accordion with buttons instead of keys), a courageous and stubborn artist of absolute integrity. He managed a long and prolific career, fighting artistic and political criticism from his homeland, constantly experimenting and growing artistically.

He began his musical career playing for disreputable tango bands in chintzy dance joints, then sojourned to American and France and Italy to study jazz and classical composition. He returned to his Argentinean tango roots and invented the Tango Nuevo, a remarkable style of a popular art music demanding the precision of a fugue, the inventiveness of jazz, the courage of 12-tone composition, the passion of the kitschiest of matinee singing, the dexterity of Argentinean football, and the heat of a chili pepper (aka aji puta pario).

Piazolla (1921-1992) was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina to Italian parents. From ages 3-16 he lived in New York City, where he was exposed to Bach and Rachmaninoff (from his Hungarian piano teacher), traditional tango and Gershwin (from his bandoneon teacher, with whom he began studying at nine), and Ellington and Calloway (from the ‘hood).  At 13 he met sex symbol Carlos Gardel, who had made tango into a craze in the US. Astor was so proficient on the bandoneon that Gardel invited him to join his band, but father Ninio deemed the boy too young. Gardel and his band died in a plane crash. “If my father hadn’t been so careful, I’d have been playing the harp instead of the bandoneon.”

For those of you who need reality to be confirmed by Hollywood, here’s Al Pacino dancing to music by Carlos Gardel in “Scent of a Woman”. Here are a couple of professionals in a very, very steamy tango. Here’s Carlos Gardel himself dancing in 1922.

At 16, he returned to Argentina with the family, then two years later moved to Buenos Aires where he began making his mark in a series of traditional tango bands and orchestras. All the while he continued to study American jazz as well as classical music (especially Bartok, Stravinsky and Ravel), piano, theory and (at the urging of pianist Arturo Rubenstein who was living in Buenos Aires) composition with the best teachers Argentina had to offer. His controversial concerto for bandeon and orchestra won him a grant to study in France in 1954, where he studied composition with the legendary Nadia Boulanger (teacher of Aaron Copland and Philip Glass). She read through his ‘kilos’ of symphonies and sonatas and said, “It’s very well written. But I can’t find Piazzolla in this.”

He returned to Argentina, formed an octet that treated the sleazy tango as chamber music rather than dance accompaniment. I can’t help but think of other major 20th century artists who left their provincial home, traveled afar to learn High Culture, and returned to their roots to make a career out of reevaluating those folk materials they knew so well – artists such as Marc Chagall, S.Y. Agnon and I.B. Singer, Federico García Lorca, Béla Bartók, a myriad of others.

There’s a saying, “In Argentina everything may change – except the tango.” Well, Astor succeeded in pissing off the public as well as appearing to the politicians as an independent-thinking troublemaker—not a healthy image in Argentina. In 1958 he returned to New York, then later back to Argentina where he formed his first Tango Nuevo quintet. With them and in other formats he collaborated with Borges, Gerry Mulligan and others, wrote symphonies and film scores and electronic music and songs, achieving some commercial success. In the early 1970s, during the reign of Los Generales, he felt it safer to live in Italy. He toured the world and his reputation grew. Back in New York in the 1980s he formed his definitive second Tango Nuevo quintet and made his best recordings, including his favorite, “Tango: Zero Hour.”

Piazzolla imagined la hora cero as the time after midnight, “an hour of absolute end and absolute beginning.” The entire CD is a work of wonder, “cosmopolitan and streetwise, erudite but also passionate, elegant yet tough’. It’s a sound palette you’re unaccustomed to – bandoneon, violin, piano, guitar and bass. Turn off your prejudices for a moment. Listen to this mind-popping marriage of passion, virtuosity and technical precision. Something like the tango itself.  It’s a world unto itself, a unique personal vision that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I do.

Our Song of The Week is the opening cut, Tanguedia III. It begins with the guys chanting Piazzolla’s formula for Tango Nueva: Tango, tragedia, comedia, kilombo (kilombo means both whorehouse and mess, just like the Arabic ‘bardak’).

For additional listening/viewing edification:

Adios Noninio, his famous elegy for his father

Libertango, live, with Yo Yo Ma sitting in on cello

Oblivion, performed by violinist Gidon Kremer

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy:

044: Paul Robeson, ‘Go Down, Moses’

068: Hermeto Pascoal, ‘Santa Catarina’

088: Lizz Wright, ‘Old Man’

 

 

 

 

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284: Owen Pallett, ‘Oh Heartland, Up Yours!’

Posted by jeff on Jun 1, 2018 in Other, Rock, Song Of the week

Owen Pallett, ‘Oh Heartland, Up Yours!’

Owen Pallett, ‘E is for Estranged’

Owen Pallett, ‘Lewis Takes Off His Shirt’

Owen Pallett, ‘He Poos Clouds’

Owen Pallett, ‘The Great Elsewhere’

I know many of my subscribers decide whether to read a post or not based on the song/musician being discussed. Which is cool, because we all love our favorites. Me, too.

So I’m often tempted to write about well-known music in order to boost my stats. But back when I conceived of this blog some 10 years ago, I promised myself to follow the music rather than the numbers, and I try really hard to keep promises. So no Taylor Swift this week, darlings. I’m taking you with me instead to yet another road less travelled, one which has brought me great edification and no little puzzlement over the past few weeks.

And now we’re talking about Owen Pallett, born 1979 near Toronto, and he’s the most dazzling artist I’ve encountered in years. Think of Jacob Collier, Sufjan Stevens, Van Dyke Parks and perhaps even a pinch of Nilsson, if those names ring your bells. If not—take a little walk with me.

Jacob Collier because Owen is young, loves to loop, and is endowed with a rare, prodigious musicianship. Sufjan Stevens because he’s young, fun, weird, melodic, and is creating new sounds and ideas often within a pop framework. Nilsson for the beauty of his melodic lines and the virtuoso expressiveness of his voice. Van Dyke Parks (most famous for collaborating with Brian Wilson on “Smile”) because—well, that’s a whole ‘nother story, but here’s Owen’s cover (with symphony orchestra) of Van Dyke’s ‘Palm Desert’ from the legendary 1968 “Song Cycle”.

I hope Van Dyke feels a lot of validation from having so much influence over a brilliant young composer/performer half a century after “Song Cycle” aroused such a deafening silence. I promise a posting in the near future about VDP.

The best label I’ve found for Owen is ‘baroque indie’, but I have only the most tenuous sense of what that means. And that label – a sub-category of a nebulous style – seems to me to diminish Owen’s music, which is grand and fine. I’ll tell you what I am hearing—a brilliant young musician whose deepest roots are classical violin, but who is equally comfortable in composing a quartet for four digital somethings with a rippling drum line and hooks that make my heart skip a beat.

Dazzling. It’s Owen’s own word. I’ve been listening to it in a loop for weeks, and my strongest impression is that wherever you drop the needle (antiquated reference, you kids can ask your grandparents) on any of the four LPs, you’re hearing a rich, fascinating, beautiful mélange of new sounds.

Owen began violin at three, wrote his first modern classical piece at 13, and began solo violin performances at 15. He soon moved to composing for video games, and from there to operas, movie scores, and currently to being the go-to session violinist for lots of indie bands, especially Arcade Fire.

His first two albums, under the name Final Fantasy (“Not one of my top twenty favorite video games”–OP) are almost all violins and vocals. But if you’re thinking Frank Sinatra/Gordon Jenkins, you’re way off base. Eight of the ten songs are said to refer to the schools of magic in Dungeons & Dragons.

Clouds

Check out for example the title cut from the album “He Poos Clouds”, which won the Polaris (Canadian Grammy) for best album of 2006. Or ‘This Lamb Sells Condos’.

My favorite is the album “Heartland” (2010, also a Polaris winner), where the strings join in a symphonic circustry of sounds.

Check out for example ‘E is for Estranged’. Much of Owen’s music is based on looping the violin. Here’s a pretty amazing video of how he does that.  And here’s the studio version.

It begins with a piano-ized keyboard with electronic haze behind. Then there’s a dialog between a pianoish instrument and a violinish one. Is it a processed violin? A violinized synthetizer? Who knows? Who cares? Well, I care because the sound is so damned interesting. But by the accompaniment in the third verse, you all that wrist action, and you know its Owen multitracked on the old cat gut. I think.

And then it grows into a symphony, an organic symphonic instrumentation, the strings written not by George Martin but by The Boys themselves, if you know what I mean. And it’s a really cool song. You can dance to it (well, waltz—it’s in ¾). I’ll give it a 12.

There’s got to be a difference between an outside (older) producer/arranger adding strings to the song of a scruffy young artist who grew up on Chuck Berry on the one hand, and instrumentation including strings written by a scruffy young artist who grew up on Brahms, Gershwin and Phillip Glass.

I don’t want to call it baroque indie. I want to call it symphonic rock.

Check out ‘The Great Elsewhere’. Check out ‘Lewis Takes Action’. Check out ‘Lewis Takes Off His Shirt’.  Check out our Song of The Week ‘Oh Heartland, Up Yours!’.

Owen Pallett’s music enthralls me. No ifsandsorbuts. But.

Owen is gay. “As far as whether the music I make is gay or queer, yeah, it comes from the fact that I’m gay, but that doesn’t mean I’m making music about it.” Well, just mildly disingenuous there, Owen. Most of the content of Owen’s music and the visuals of his videos revolve around homoeroticism. It’s not just his predilection, it’s his agenda.

I personally believe that sexual freedom and good taste can sometimes clash. I believe in people practicing whatever floats their boats–behind closed doors. Sex can be a slippery slope in art. It’s really hard to make it interesting. There just aren’t that many variables. Not desire—that’s a staple, bring it on! But the physical implications of said desire are often better left behind those closed doors.

His lyrics are no less striking than his compositions or his instrumentations or his performances.  It seems to me—and I would have liked a couple of weeks more work on this to solidify this impression–that his words work better as poetry than as lyrics.

This is something very unusual. Dylan is a lyricist, not a poet. Leonard Cohen straddled the fence in the beginning, but eventually cast his lot with songwriting.  Owen Pallett’s words are the intelligent, challenging, focused constructs of heightened language that distinguish (in my mind) lyrics from poetry. Let’s put it this way: I can’t think of a single other songwriter about whom I would say ‘his lyrics are really poems’. I’ll go further. I think they work better as poems than as lyrics.

I did my homework on the words below, references supplied for your reading edification. Don’t mean I understand the text now. But I recognize that they’re strong words, fashioned with intelligence and wit and craftsmanship. As I said, I wish he’d expand his concerns beyond his own private sexual issues, which also here seem to be at the center of things, albeit less blatantly than in other songs.

But the music? Gosh, what dazzlement. As he writes in ‘Lewis Takes Off His Shirt’ (I wouldn’t have minded if he left it on), “My senses are bedazzled by the parallax of the road”. ‘Parallax’ means the change in appearance of an object when viewed from different perspectives. It’s also commonly known (among millennial geeks) as the method of scrolling in which the background of a web page moves at a slower rate to the foreground, creating a 3D effect.

But as I freely admitted in last week’s SoTW, when it comes to understanding video gaming and 21st century sexualism, I’m Dylan’s Mr Jones. But the music? I sure do get that music.

The stars collected
Each world accounted for
Freed all the children
Seems there is nothing more

If I only had a rowboat I would row it up to heaven
And if heaven will not have me I would take the other option
I will seek out my own satisfaction

From the wight1 lying in the barrow
To the priest with his broken arrows
There’s a method to the madness
They will feign an expression of sadness
A concatenation2 of locusts
And the farmers are losing their focus
On the pitch of the Avenroe3 grasses
I will sing, sing, sing to the masses
Oh Heartland, up yours!

The hollow voice of the 14th century
Too much assumption to be taken seriously

Oh, you wrote me like a Disney kid, in cut-offs and a beater4
With a feathered fringe it doesn’t suit a simoniac5 breeder
Doesn’t work, doesn’t fly, doesn’t handle

From the wight lying in the barrow…

My homeland
I will not sing your praises here

1A fellow

2A series of connected events

3A fictional place name

4A tight tank top worn by men showing off their body, à la Stanley Kowalski, apparently from ‘wife-beater’

5Buying privilege or pardon from the church

 

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