-= Frank Black Forum =-
-= Frank Black Forum =-
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Frank Black Chat
 Here Comes Your Subbacultcha
 Best Lyrics on Beneath the Eyrie
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

Jeepster
- FB Fan -

USA
123 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2019 :  13:41:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beneath the Eyrie is very notable to me for how strong the lyricism is. Great surreal gothic imagery and really strong storytelling all around. So let’s discuss & analyze our favorite lyrics!!

Personally I love the story in Bird of Prey. It’s very spooky and fun but delivered in a way that’s quite scary too, like an early Nick Cave song. I’m also very impressed by Los Surfers Muertos with how few lyrics are used to capture such an emotionally complex story. I think it’s a really touching memorial.

-----------------------
Q: Where do Pixies keep their instruments when they're not playing?
A: Debasement.

sdon
= Cult of Ray =

France
759 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2019 :  03:56:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is my Fate, Bird of Prey, Los Surfers Muertos and Death Horizon are for me the 4 best songs on BTE, both musically and lyrically

Mark of Cain has a great Trompe vibe, but lyrics are a bit too cryptic and repetitive
Catfish is nice but lacks some weirdness
Graveyard Hill could have had better lyrics



--
"Aristophanes! (gong sounds)"
"Fucking up my devotion!"
Go to Top of Page

tamefan
- FB Fan -

Canada
83 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2019 :  12:27:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My favourite lyrics are on Daniel Boone, but I'd like to say something about Los Muertos and Long Rider, Paz's pair of songs. According to genius.com, these are songs about "Paz's long-time friend Desiree, a fellow surfer, was killed surfing near a place called County Line north of Malibu."

Long Rider comes first. It's earnest and upbeat. Desiree's an admirable figure ("If I were you and you were me / We would do the same as Desiree") because she's fearless and badass ("We would do the same as Desiree / [We would] Just slay it"). Desiree's death is portrayed as heroic. In the song's bridge, Paz commemorates Desiree's memory by alluding to this iconic pantheon of surfers, suggesting that Desiree joins them in her legacy.

Los Surfers is quite different. It's a sober analysis of Desiree's death. She isn't portrayed as a heroic figure; quite the opposite, she's portrayed as reckless and hot-headed. These surfers who lived near Desiree raved about a killer wave ("Vivieron antes del Puerto / Where she came from"). The legendary Killer Dana, a wave on a dangerous “shallow cove." She rode her "long gun." According to surfscience.com: "These boards are made specifically for the unique characteristics of that wave. You need all the help you can get out there because any mistakes on a big wave will have heavy consequences." Desiree tempted fate and she lost her life in a reckless act (“Just one more ride / The last words she said”).

Long Rider tells the myth and Muertos tells the truth. The aspirational glory and the sobering cautionary tale. In the context of the album, both songs tie into the themes of death, fate, and faith ("I believe"). A lot could be said about these. I'll just observe that BF is portrayed in several songs as being resigned to his fate, as condemned, out-of-control, or pre-destined (example: his accidental death by colliding with a reindeer on the road, although this can be interpreted as death by drunk driving which would be consistent with the recurring theme of alcoholism) and while BF's tragic fate is beyond his control, Desiree is heroic specifically because she had a kind of faith ("I believe") and a daring to risk action.
Go to Top of Page

Jeepster
- FB Fan -

USA
123 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2019 :  18:32:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
tamefan, your analysis is always fantastic, and this is no different. It's a really great point about the larger-than-life legacy of Desiree.

There are a few other contrasts between the songs that strengthen your point as well. I think it's significant that Long Rider has both Paz and Frank singing, even though only Paz is actually connected to Desiree. It's as though Desiree's heroic death has passed into folklore (the role of folklore in this album is worth examining too), and now somebody who never even knew her is telling tales of how badass she was. Long Rider also has some magical realism going on, as it alludes to Desiree still being around after her death, talking about how you can see her surf at the end of a summer's day. It makes her seem like a ghost or spirit, eternally & triumphantly surfing that last amazing wave. I also wonder why Paz says you find her at the end of the day even though she's a "long rider in the morning tide". Story becoming distorted as it passes into folklore?

Then Los Surfers Muertos is sung alone (Paz relating the truth of the incident, not the publically-celebrated story around it). There are no fantastical elements, no reference is made to what happens to Desiree after she dies. It's probably also significant that only LSM actually gives the name of the wave that killed her- it's the bleak facts of her death, related in a pretty objective way.


Interesting aside- the surfer songs and Catfish Kate both tell stories about women who fight a 'battle' of a sort in the water.... going from the pure triumph of Kate to the tragedy of Desiree is a pretty bleak trajectory for the album. also, the history of the Killer Dana wave is deeply tied to ecological activism. I guess once we link the surfer songs to the environmental themes, it's worth noting that Desiree was killed by a natural phenomenon and that Death Horizon predicts the same for all humanity. https://briantissot.com/2018/01/15/lessons-from-killer-dana/

I really love how well all the themes on this album interconnect and how one song can make you view another in a totally different light. Major props to Paz for writing such a rich set of lyrics in honor of her friend.

-----------------------
Q: Where do Pixies keep their instruments when they're not playing?
A: Debasement.

Edited by - Jeepster on 09/16/2019 18:33:18
Go to Top of Page

picpic
* Dog in the Sand *

Belgium
1780 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2019 :  01:56:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah those two songs rocks.
Anyone got the "modern sense" part ?
I think that part was already there in the early stages when the song was still called Bogman (I remember Charles singing bits of it in the podcast)

___
"Service Unavailable"

Edited by - picpic on 09/17/2019 01:57:54
Go to Top of Page

tamefan
- FB Fan -

Canada
83 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2019 :  08:46:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wowza, excellent insights, Jeepster!

You've captured the contrast between Long Rider and Los Meurtos exactly right: it's magical realism contrasted with the cold hard facts. That article about Killer Dana strongly supports some of our conjecture. The wave had "huge, freight train-thick swells." Surfers respected it and understood its dangers well. When it was destroyed by developers of a marina, the local surfers considered it an act of "aquatic rape." My mind jumps to the dying Lord Howe reef and to the coral snow in Silver Bullet. In April, scientists declared that "Lord Howe Island coral bleaching 'most severe we've ever seen'." "Bill Leggat, a coral biologist at Newcastle University, said the worst of the bleaching was in shallow water closer to the shoreline. “Some of the sites are looking at 80-90% bleaching going very close inshore.”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/01/lord-howe-island-coral-bleaching-most-severe-weve-ever-seen-scientists-say
Go to Top of Page

Sprite
= Cult of Ray =

962 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2019 :  10:10:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great analysis. I was thinking listening to the podcasts it was a bit weird to be writing songs about such tragic event (especially when I heard the poppy sound of Long Rider) but it makes a lot of sense with your perspectives on it
Go to Top of Page

billgoodman
>> Denizen of the Citizens Band <<

Netherlands
5348 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2019 :  11:17:28  Show Profile  Click to see billgoodman's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
"Hold that train" I told that skinner man.

---------------------------
BF: Mag ik Engels spreken?
Go to Top of Page

johnnyribcage
* Dog in the Sand *

USA
1088 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2019 :  19:18:13  Show Profile  Visit johnnyribcage's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by billgoodman

"Hold that train" I told that skinner man.

---------------------------
BF: Mag ik Engels spreken?



Instant classic quote


I had a bad reaction to your public hobby writings.
Go to Top of Page

billgoodman
>> Denizen of the Citizens Band <<

Netherlands
5348 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2019 :  21:22:11  Show Profile  Click to see billgoodman's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Don't know what it means actually

---------------------------
BF: Mag ik Engels spreken?
Go to Top of Page

Jeepster
- FB Fan -

USA
123 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2019 :  11:26:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
you are too kind! I also think that there might be another layer to all this- Catfish Kate previously establishes a narrative of a woman fighting and triumphing over nature, so by the time the surfer songs show up, the listener might expect Desiree's story to go the same way. It's not even really made clear until Los Surfers Muertos that Desiree actually died. So it's a pretty harsh intrusion of reality into the folklore narrative.

And that article you linked to is so horribly sad. in a way the scientific context adds another thematic dimension to BTE. There are so many songs about being fated for death, with the real-world background that the ocean (practically a character in its own right on this album!) has the same fate. I think FB said he has been involved with an artistic group lately that focuses their work around the idea that it's inevitable that humans will destroy the environment.

So there are all these characters in the songs who are dying or dead, and then the Earth itself has the same fate... very bleak, melancholy stuff. I don't think it's a coincidence that the songs that deal most directly with the environmentalist themes close out the album, and that the lyrics get more nihilistic as it goes on. It's like BTE starts off 'zoomed in' on individual stories, some of which even have happy endings, and by the time it ends it zooms out and the entire planet is being destroyed.

It's a pretty sad album :(

quote:
Originally posted by tamefan

Wowza, excellent insights, Jeepster!

You've captured the contrast between Long Rider and Los Meurtos exactly right: it's magical realism contrasted with the cold hard facts. That article about Killer Dana strongly supports some of our conjecture. The wave had "huge, freight train-thick swells." Surfers respected it and understood its dangers well. When it was destroyed by developers of a marina, the local surfers considered it an act of "aquatic rape." My mind jumps to the dying Lord Howe reef and to the coral snow in Silver Bullet. In April, scientists declared that "Lord Howe Island coral bleaching 'most severe we've ever seen'." "Bill Leggat, a coral biologist at Newcastle University, said the worst of the bleaching was in shallow water closer to the shoreline. “Some of the sites are looking at 80-90% bleaching going very close inshore.”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/01/lord-howe-island-coral-bleaching-most-severe-weve-ever-seen-scientists-say




-----------------------
Q: Where do Pixies keep their instruments when they're not playing?
A: Debasement.
Go to Top of Page

coastline
> Teenager of the Year <

USA
3054 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2019 :  14:51:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now that I know what he's saying, I love the line "Just slay it" in "Long Rider."

"Just slay it" = "Gouge away"


__________________________________________________

If all you see is violins, then I make a plea in their defense.
Go to Top of Page

Jamie
- FB Fan -

USA
61 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2019 :  21:55:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If we can include the demos, I like "Maybe in the next life I'll come back as a disease" from Under the Marigold.
Go to Top of Page

Stevio10
= Cult of Ray =

United Kingdom
871 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2019 :  02:40:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Los Surfers Muertos is kind of like an evil twin to Ana, coincidentally the name of Paz's sister.
Go to Top of Page

coastline
> Teenager of the Year <

USA
3054 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2019 :  02:43:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Out of curiosity, does the vinyl edition include the lyrics?


__________________________________________________

If all you see is violins, then I make a plea in their defense.
Go to Top of Page

billgoodman
>> Denizen of the Citizens Band <<

Netherlands
5348 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2019 :  02:53:33  Show Profile  Click to see billgoodman's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
it does!

---------------------------
BF: Mag ik Engels spreken?
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
-= Frank Black Forum =- © 2002-2020 Frank Black Fans, Inc. Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000