Thursday, 4 September 2014

On Life, Death, Women, God, Beer, and Yelling.

Two things I just noticed:

1. I made two posts today, one called Moments in the Metropolis, and another called Baby’s First Words. Guess which one got three times as many views as the other.

2. One of the songs I’m listening to a lot at the moment (as much for the opportunity to see the accompanying picture on YouTube) is The Snake by the Mediaeval Baebes. It’s sung in old Galician, but I gather the story is: ‘A man finds a snake out in the cold one winter’s night, and takes it into his home to keep it warm. It grows big and kills him.’ I’ll bet it was a female snake.

That’s women for you: cooing over babies one minute and biting your head off the next. There was only ever one woman whose yelling endeared her to me. I suppose that’s because when the noise is coming from under your skin, it kind of belongs.

And do you know what? The thought of death sometimes makes me angry. I mean, what right does the faceless agent of the determinist principle* have to come along one day and say ‘Right, today you lose everything. You lose your home, your belongings, everybody you know, and even the body that you’ve been used to thinking of as you for all these years. They’re all going in the skip. Tough.’

But maybe I’m seeing it all wrong. Being a believer in reincarnation, I tend to think of life as the long summer holiday from school, and the prospect of it ending being akin to having to face the reality of getting up at seven o’clock in the morning again and trudging your weary way to some damn classroom. Maybe it’s the other way round. Maybe life is term time, and you get the long holiday after you’ve popped off. If I can find a way of letting you know, I’ll let you know. It could be a while yet.

* And please don’t anybody say ‘God gave you life, so God has the right to take it away.’ That’s like saying ‘I took this abandoned puppy in from the streets, so now I have the right to kick it back out again.’ I think. This Greene King IPA Reserve is powerful stuff. It was on special offer at £1 a bottle in Sainsbury’s last week, so I bought two – one to save until tonight. It was all sold out this week. That’s life.


Della said...

Ha,I'm laughing but there's quite a bit of seriousness here to comment on, though I won't. Just want to say that I don't know that particular Mediaeval Baebes song which is funny because I thought I knew them all, AND I just saw a video from the new Faun album and thought I'd send you the link (hope it works):
If not, the song is 'Walpurgisnacht'. Take care and enjoy the evening.

JJ Beazley said...

You won't? Shame.

It's definitely the MBs - I've got it playing now. It's the picture that really gets me, though. Those eyes seem to be saying 'The coin is spinning, buster. Prepare yourself for heaven or for hell, depending on which way it falls.' It's here:

Now I'll take a listen to the German guys. I much prefer their version of Adam Lay YBounden, by the way.

Della said...

Actually I recognize the song now that I hear it, didn't know the title. Lovely. From an older album (people don't say 'album' anymore, do they?). I love Faun's Adam LayYBounden, is that the one you prefer? The MB version is rather too soft. I've ordered the new Faun album, wondering if I'll like it. I wasn't crazy about their last.

Lately I've been rediscovering Kate Bush btw. Probably because she's been so much in the news because of her concert. Do you know her album Aerial? Some of it is quite good.

JJ Beazley said...

It is the Faun version of Adam Lay YBounden I refer, yes. I think it's more musically sophisticated and incisive than the MB version.

And I liked the Walpurgisnacht track you sent, although I wasn't too keen on the official video. Too much of the New Agey Pagan symbology for my taste - unclothed women, goats, horns and phallic symbols. I wonder how well that sort of thing really represents the core pagan tradition, and how much is about insecure people and marketing men in suits. I'm probably jaundiced.

You might remember that I went through a phase of rediscovering Kate Bush a couple of years ago. The only albums of hers I know are the first four or five (so what do they call albums these days? I'm still tempted to call them LPs.) Some of the later tracks I heard on YouTube were probably from Aerial. I gather the concert was a great success and is going on tour. Is there a point? Maybe.

Della said...

Yes, I suppose the video is overdone. That's true. Faun has a following here, like other German bands that range from 'pagan folk' to 'darkwave', but I get the feeling they're seeking greater international success. Hence also the glossiness of this video compared to their earlier work. Agreed, it's men in suits to blame :) Song is nice, though.

Love Faun's Adam LayYBounden, it's terrific.

I'd forgotten, but now I do remember that you wrote quite a bit about Kate Bush. I don't know if she'll go on tour, as I understood it there would only be the 5 concerts. 'King of the Mountain' (from Aerial) is a wonderful song though the video doesn't appeal to me and the subject isn't up my ally either (inspired by the notion that 'Elvis lives' of all things). But in spite of that I play it over and over again, maybe because the refrain 'the wind is whistling through the house' haunts me, or maybe because it's just once again, the lovely Kate.

JJ Beazley said...

One of my favourite Kate Bush tracks is Jig of Life, but it isn't on YouTube. There used to be a version synched to a dance routine, but it was taken down for copyright infringement. That seems odd considering how much of her stuff is up there. I'll see whether I can find King of the Mountain.

I'm probably wrong about the tour. I read that she had several concerts planned and assumed it meant the same thing.

JJ Beazley said...

I just watched the official video for King of the Mountain, and quite liked it. I thought there was a bit of a send-up going on.

And dear Kate appears to have lost nothing down the years except the subtlety of youth. Her music and personality seem as fresh as ever.

I never 'got' Elvis. Never. Just couldn't see the appeal.

Della said...

Don't know Jig of Life, will definitely look for it. Agree about Elvis, funny thing is that in King of the Mountain she transforms him into something more interesting, more mythical. The Citizen Kane allusion doesn't hurt either. It's typical oddball Kate really, when you consider her canon of work. Good oddball: you're so right, she's still got the same freshness and passion.