Author Topic: Anniversary  (Read 17510 times)

Offline Urpal

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Re: Anniversary
« Reply #75 on: February 27, 2013, 09:35:28 AM »
I've just given that costar track a proper listen on half a decent speaker (a jambox fed off a bluetoothed wifi) and it sounds elemental and a perfectly stormy realisation. Like Howlin Wolf or something. I'd previously been watching a programme about late 20th century classical composers on BBC4 featuring Cage, Part, Reich, Glass, Adams, Taverner etc. I still think there's work to do.

Funnily enough I've started today with Nick Cave imploring me to keep on pushing at the skies and ended it with David McComb delivering a similar message in an almost mirrored syntactical format. I'll be starting to worry about subliminal images and reverse tracked audio sunk under the groove next.

Thanks again for the gift.
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Offline glee

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Re: Anniversary
« Reply #76 on: February 28, 2013, 10:20:19 PM »
Well where I sit February is over almost. Thanks for all the participation here and on Facebook page. There are some postcards up on the Facebook page and a charming letter to a friend. Tomorrow we March onwards.

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Offline Urpal

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Anniversary
« Reply #77 on: March 03, 2013, 08:46:41 AM »
I've just strayed upon the lyrics of the song "Passing Thru" which Leonard Cohen has covered on record and is threatening to perform again on his 2013 tour - the reports of the song being rehearsed for the tour lead me fortuitously to a web page bearing the lyrics.

The song is obviously quite different in tone to "Everything Fixed" but there seems a similarity in the "conversational/inquisitorial" structure of the lyrical format of the two songs I thought worth mentioning.

Here are the Passing Thru lyrics:

I saw Jesus on the cross on a hill called Calvary
“Do you hate mankind for what they done to you?”
He said, “Talk of love not hate, things to do – it’s getting late.
I’ve so little time and I’m only passing through.”

Passing through, passing through.
Sometimes happy, sometimes blue,
glad that I ran into you.
Tell the people that you saw me passing through.

I saw Adam leave the Garden with an apple in his hand,
I said “Now you’re out, what are you going to do?”
“Plant some crops and pray for rain, maybe raise a little cane.
I’m an orphan now, and I’m only passing through.”

I was with Washington at Valley Forge, shivering in the snow.
I said, “How come the men here suffer like they do?”
“Men will suffer, men will fight, even die for what is right
even though they know they’re only passing through”

I was with Franklin Roosevelt’s side on the night before he died.
He said, “One world must come out of World War Two” (ah, the fool)
“Yankee, Russian, white or tan,” he said, “A man is still a man.
We’re all on one road, and we’re only passing through.”

The song Passing Thru is from the US socialist Seegerish end of the folk tradition, so has a positive spin. McCombs song spirals in a bleaker direction. The two aren't really comparable, and one probably had no bearing in the creation of the other, but a chord struck with me all the same.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 09:09:44 AM by Urpal »
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Offline glee

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Re: Anniversary
« Reply #78 on: March 03, 2013, 10:01:12 AM »
Red Ponies did Passing Through live on the 94 Europe tour


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Offline Urpal

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Anniversary
« Reply #79 on: March 04, 2013, 08:17:34 AM »
It'd be interesting to hear that. When was Everything Fixed written?

Coincidentally Jarvis Cocker played the Cohen Live version of Passing Through on his BBC6 Music radio show this afternoon because it was Jennifer Warnes' birthday and she sang backing on it.

Hearing it again it occurred to me that it was probably an influence on Cohen's own song The Captain from Various Positions about which I've enthused here in the past.

On reflection, none are particularly cheerful, though Cohen's songs come with a more upbeat country twang than the minor blues swing of McComb's song. The father, the son and the Holy Ghost then.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 09:10:28 AM by Urpal »
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Offline KrieB

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Re: Anniversary
« Reply #80 on: March 04, 2013, 10:38:39 AM »
The verses of Everything Fixed is Killed are clearly written on the cadence and the pattern of Passing Through (James Paterson mentioned this 'procédé' on other occasions didn't he?) And as David starts his song also with "I saw Jesus..." it must be an intentional link... it's part of the inspiration/fabrication/added meaning - spinning further on the same thread ...
It's not that I've tried to figure this out decisively (or count the exact syllables), but the juxtaposition of the freely "Passing through" and on the other hand the trapped, "fixed" state of things... that's the thing about this pairing where my musings start...

Also, in the setlists of the costar live recordings, it was paired with Crucifixion Speech! So, there you have a nice bit to chew on! :)
 
And thank you Graham for highlighting the release-ready version of EFIK. I had the Red Ponies version on my internal juxebox...  Really great and it also makes me wonder about 'adding a final touch' to something so as to set it out as a powerful definitive version... (But aah... definitive hopefully not as in 'fixed'....)

The "Keep on working now" - part now grasps my attention, and my associative mind would link it  in a playlist to "Work for me" as sung by Fiona Kitchin
The Drones - Work For Me

« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 11:24:43 AM by KrieB »
Throw yourself into The Triffids darling, you haven't got a chance!

Offline Urpal

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Re: Anniversary
« Reply #81 on: March 04, 2013, 08:15:21 PM »
... the juxtaposition of the freely "Passing through" and on the other hand the trapped, "fixed" state of things... that's the thing about this pairing where my musings start...

Good point, KrieB. The "passing through" lyric serves as a reminder in the Cohen cover that life is a transitory experience and we should make the most of it for ourselves and the passengers travelling alongside with their own destinations and arrival time. Of course, the "arrival" point of this journey is death, and that's pretty fixed (two certainties in life etc.....). The song is also maybe a secular hymn in that sense, because it requires us to ignore the possibility of the "hereafter". It's subtlety is in the suggestion that "passing through" somewhere is only a part of a longer total journey. Maybe?

Anyway, here are the lyrics of The Captain:

Quote
Now the Captain called me to his bed
He fumbled for my hand
[Captain]"Take these silver bars," he said
"I'm giving you command."

[Soldier]"Command of what, there's no one here
There's only you and me --
All the rest are dead or in retreat
Or with the enemy."

[Captain]"Complain, complain, that's all you've done
Ever since we lost
If it's not the Crucifixion
Then it's the Holocaust."

[Soldier]"May Christ have mercy on your soul
For making such a joke
Amid these hearts that burn like coal
And the flesh that rose like smoke."

[Captain]"I know that you have suffered, lad,
But suffer this awhile:
Whatever makes a soldier sad
Will make a killer smile."

[Soldier]"I'm leaving, Captain, I must go
There's blood upon your hand
But tell me, Captain, if you know
Of a decent place to stand."

[Captian]"There is no decent place to stand
In a massacre;
But if a woman take your hand
Go and stand with her."

[Soldier]"I left a wife in Tennessee
And a baby in Saigon --
I risked my life, but not to hear
Some country-western song."

[Captain]"Ah but if you cannot raise your love
To a very high degree,
Then you're just the man I've been thinking of --
So come and stand with me."

[Soldier]"Your standing days are done," I cried,
"You'll rally me no more.
I don't even know what side
We fought on, or what for."

[Captain]"I'm on the side that's always lost
Against the side of Heaven
I'm on the side of Snake-eyes tossed
Against the side of Seven.
And I've read the Bill of Human Rights
And some of it was true
But there wasn't any burden left
So I'm laying it on you."

Now the Captain he was dying
But the Captain wasn't hurt
The silver bars were in my hand
I pinned them to my shirt.

NOTE: I've edited Cohen's song more clearly into the mini-play form it takes by separating out the actor's parts and adding role indicators to the dialogue.

It also takes the form of an epic dialogue of a quasi-religious variety between a captain and more junior ranking soldier, who to me seem symbolic characters in a greater debate. It reminds me a little of Christ's encounter with Satan in the desert (and the "snake eyes tossed..." line specifically alludes to that).

Cohen's song delivers from a jewish perspective but with the universal tale in mind, and possibly also encompasses a dialogue with his father?

Funnily enough, I think I first got particularly hooked on The Captain whilst attempting to read Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. I think my efforts tailed off about the section where it veers off into The Grand Inquisitor. I'm thinking that's maybe been a factor in how I came to admire it as much as I do. It saved me a bit of reading.... ;)

The "I know that you have suffered, lad, but suffer this awhile..." seems to take a cue from the third verse of "Passing Through" when juxtaposed with the jaunty nature of the country-western song.

Everything Fixed places Christ in prison rather than on the cross. I think a lot of people overlook the "arrest and detention as a criminal" section of Jesus' story. It's a change of scene that throws you a bit when you first hear the song.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 09:36:57 PM by Urpal »
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Offline Urpal

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Re: Anniversary
« Reply #82 on: March 04, 2013, 11:23:32 PM »
Quote
And I've read the Bill of Human Rights
And some of it was true
But there wasn't any burden left
So I'm laying it on you

Quote
I believe in God
I believe in mermaids too
I believe in 72 virgins on a chain
Why not? Why not? Why not?

Quote
"I'm very fond of Jesus Christ. He may be the most beautiful guy who ever walked the face of this earth. Any guy who said "Blessed are the poor. Blessed are the meek" has got to be a figure of unparalleled generosity and insight and madness.. . A man who declared himself to stand among the thieves, the prostitutes and the homeless. His position cannot be comprehended. It is an inhuman generosity. A generosity that would overthrow the world if it was embraced because nothing could weather that compassion. I'm not trying to alter the Jewish view of Jesus Christ. But to me, in spite of what I know about the history of legal Christianity, the figure of the man has touched me"     Leonard Cohen

A tentative suggestion of one possibility for the meaning of "Everything Fixed Is Killed" distilled from Dostoevsky via Seeger-Cohen and Cave might be that "everything fixed in stone becomes dead", or, to put it another way, that a thing too closely analysed becomes like a specimen in a petri dish and thereby loses its interest/spirit/life. So I'll stop digging and let the mystery, majesty and beauty of the song continue....
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 03:20:46 AM by Urpal »
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Offline glee

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Re: Anniversary
« Reply #83 on: March 05, 2013, 03:33:45 PM »
More things to look and listen over at the site and Facebook page.

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Offline steffitee

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Re: Anniversary
« Reply #84 on: March 05, 2013, 03:47:25 PM »
More things to look and listen over at the site and Facebook page.
I'd like to hug ya! I know the guys feel like it, too, they just wouldn't admit it.
Thank you.
No more dreaming like a girl so in love with the wrong world

Offline Urpal

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Anniversary
« Reply #85 on: March 06, 2013, 07:37:40 AM »
I'll admit it. In a brotherly way like. No funny business :-)

Thanks. Relaxed and insightful interview. Agree with Marty on time and Graham when it comes to dancing - fit for purpose not for porpoise. Good to have some first hand chord charts and the trick of the light.

When I read back on this thread yesterday I was struck by the fact that the conclusion of my lengthy monologues was more or less the same thing as KrieB had said before I got started (associative minds think alike). It reminds me though that often in life, and possibly when looking at life generally, the journey to a place can be more interesting  than the destination - at least from the personal perspective of the traveller even if he might make for a bit of a boring old travel companion.
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Offline Urpal

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Re: Anniversary
« Reply #86 on: March 07, 2013, 07:57:57 PM »
On the subject of the associative mind, the Cave/Lanegan duet of Weeping Song reminds me that it also takes a conversational form between father and son figures not unlike Cohen's The Captain:

Quote
[Father] Go son, go down to the water
And see the women weeping there
Then go up into the mountains
The men, they are weeping too

[Son] Father, why are all the women weeping?
[Father] They are weeping for their men
[Son] Then why are all the men there weeping?
[Father] They are weeping back at them

This is a weeping song
A song in which to weep
While all the men and women sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won't be weeping long

[Son] Father, why are all the children weeping?
[Father] They are merely crying son
[Son] O, are they merely crying, father?
[Father] Yes, true weeping is yet to come

This is a weeping song
A song in which to weep
While all the men and women sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won't be weeping long

[Son] O father tell me, are you weeping?
Your face seems wet to touch
O then I'm so sorry, father
I never thought I hurt you so much

This is a weeping song
A song in which to weep
While we rock ourselves to sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won't be weeping long
But I won't be weeping long
But I won't be weeping long
But I won't be weeping long

Four songs in which the sorrows of the world are fixed in a "parental" gaze then.
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Offline Urpal

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Re: Anniversary
« Reply #87 on: March 07, 2013, 08:42:16 PM »
I just strayed on a pic online of the band Queen which reminded me that Bohemian Rhapsody takes the form (in part) of a son speaking to his mother. Thankully the lyric is more of a "one way street" than a conversation, so my associative mind can rest a while.....
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 08:44:55 PM by Urpal »
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Offline glee

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Re: Anniversary
« Reply #88 on: March 07, 2013, 09:02:26 PM »
Dangerous waters Urpal. There are plenty more and quite a few stinkers to be found.

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Offline Urpal

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Re: Anniversary
« Reply #89 on: March 07, 2013, 09:40:35 PM »
True true. I just had a telephone conversation with my daughter (she's just this morning learned to ask "where's daddy?"), and, whilst not a stinker, and profound to me, it wouldn't bear repeating beyond my personal shores even if I understood the most of it myself.

Having said that, the shared central scenery of Bohemian Rhapsody and Folsom Prison Blues had previously escaped my notice. That might be a feature of the sparseness of the one lyric and the grandolinquancy of the other.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 09:43:12 PM by Urpal »
We all have our croissants to bear