Thursday, November 13, 2008

[non-Africa posting] Literary songsmithing

It is true that I am at the annual African Studies Association meetings (manning a table for another project I work on, UnderstandingSudan), but on the flight out here I listened to a band that was one of the top 2008 on emusic, Neutral Milk Hotel. The album seems to have come out long ago though... (update: I just read the very interesting story of singer Jeff Mangum on Wikipedia). The song Holland, 1945 in particular caught my ear... after two listenings, I was pretty sure it was Anne Frank, and of course you have to be endeared to someone who can craft such an amazing song about Anne Frank... Here are the opening lyrics:
The only girl I've ever loved
Was born with roses in her eyes
But then they buried her alive
One evening, 1945
With just her sister at her side
And only weeks before the guns
All came and rained on everyone
Now she's a little boy in Spain
Playing pianos filled with flames
On empty rings around the sun
All sing to say my dream has come
And here is an acoustic version. It is much better in the recorded version.

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