Evolving Thoughts

Evolution, culture, philosophy and chocolate! John Wilkins' continuing struggle to come to terms with impermanence... "Humanus sum, nihil humanum a me alienum puto" - Terence

Friday, February 17, 2006

A musical muse

I'm well past the stage of keeping up with the musical scene. I still think the Beatles are cool. But occasionally I come across some music that tugs at my existential darkness in a bittersweet way and so I want to introduce you all to Augie March, a Melbourne band of amazing talent. Named after a Saul Bellow novel, The Adventures of Augie March, they're a folkish, rockish sort of band whose lead singer reminds me of lost opportunities and sorrows past.

My favourite song is Very little wonder, which really makes an old 70s existentialist nostalgic. The lyrics alone don't do the song justice, poetic as they are:
Well it's my very little wonder and it's one that I will keep,
But you can take it with you if it helps you when you're trying to sleep...
and the men who are a cut above today are often not so very deep.
Young ladies of means will say "I am, I am, I am, I am, I am",
Sitting on the edges of their seats on the light rail tram,
amongst the could-a-beens, the also-rans -

It's very little wonder if you cry,
It's very little wonder you don't cry,
The birds were framed, the babies were framed, and so too the black sky.

You can't hear the ready laughter in my song,
When I was laughing all day yesterday and all night long,
till we shook off the fears, and had us both in tears,
O brother don't clean out your ears and you might be amazed
to find the secrets of the city in its alley ways,
In the bins behind the swill cafes,
amid the clean-picked chicken bones and cartilage a spirit groans,
a small heart beats and a red beak groans
"O pity, where's my little body gone?"

You'll know why, it's very little wonder you don't cry,
Don't be ashamed of a guilty little rain, and don't be ashamed,
it's just the drink, it's just the drink, it's just the drink.

One marks a place, one makes a time,
One stops a'living, one goes about a'dying...

Somebody blew their brains out in this room,
I can feel it like it happened just this afternoon,
On the wall behind some furniture there's a stain in the shape of Africa,
O fear walks tall, when it's halfway up the hill with its friend alcohol.
I could hear the heavy footsteps in his hollow halls,
Little wonder that he soon devised to rid them all in one great gushing fall,
The billion tiny devil's feet which nightly walked that bloody beat

- Hi ho, ho hum, Get yourself a gun,
Open up your heart and let the bleeders run,
Hi ho, ho hum, Move the thing along,
Open up your heart and let the evening come,
Hi ho, ho hum, Get yourself a gun,
Open up your heart and let the bleeders run,
Hi ho, ho hum, Think about your mum,
Open up your heart and let the evening come darkly in.
You won't get that from Britney Spears.

The band are available from the iTunes store.