Monday, April 04, 2011

Musical interlude: Cream, "Tales of Brave Ulysses"



I love this song. I don't mean the music so much, although it's cool psychedelic rock, seminal album, Clapton on guitar, one of the first uses of a wah-wah pedal and all that.

What I really love are the lyrics. They make me see and feel everything in the song.
You thought the leaden winter would bring you down forever,
But you rode upon a steamer to the violence of the sun.
The leaden winter and the violence of the sun.
And the colors of the sea blind your eyes with trembling mermaids,
And you touch the distant beaches with tales of brave Ulysses:
How his naked ears were tortured by the Sirens sweetly singing,
For the sparkling waves are calling you to kiss their white laced lips.
This song makes me want to go somewhere like that. Right now. I don't care if leaden winter is ending and it's sort of spring already. I want to go to a place where the colors of the sea blind my eyes with trembling mermaids. I want to kiss the white-laced lips of the sparkling waves.

And this. Oh my God, I love this.
And you see a girl's brown body dancing through the turquoise,
And her footprints make you follow where the sky loves the sea.
And when your fingers find her, she drowns you in her body,
Carving deep blue ripples in the tissues of your mind.
The turquoise just barely saves the brown body dancing from being too cliché, but then, "where the sky loves the sea" is just beautiful. And the result of your pursuit is not that you passively drown, but that she drowns you. And she makes her mark not in your body, but in your mind.

And:
The tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers,
And you want to take her with you to the hard land of the winter.
But I don't want to take her back to the hard land of the winter. I'd rather stay with her where the sky loves the sea.
Her name is Aphrodite and she rides a crimson shell,
And you know you cannot leave her for you touched the distant sands
With tales of brave Ulysses; how his naked ears were tortured
By the Sirens sweetly singing.
No, I would never leave my Aphrodite.
The tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers,
And you want to take her with you to the hard land of the winter.
I need to book a flight to Hawaii... or Tahiti... or somewhere. Any suggestions?

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3 comments:

  1. Oh hells yes. This is just a fucking amazing song, on every level.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "I need to book a flight to Hawaii... or Tahiti... or somewhere. Any suggestions?"

    The Aegean, duh.

    ReplyDelete

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