4.14.2005

aibohphobia

A fellow by the name of Andrew Bird has a song on his album The Mysterious Production of Eggs called "Fake Palindromes." Of course, this struck my curiosity and I iTuned* it.
It's crazy, it rocks, and it's like nothing else. Like a dummy, I tried to unpack it. What's up with the palindrome title? Here's the first stanza:

My dewy-eyed Disney bride, what has tried
swapping your blood with formaldehyde?
Monsters?
Whiskey-plied voices cried fratricide!
Jesus don't you know that you could've died
(you should've died)
with the monsters that talk, monsters that walk the earth


Five minutes I spent with this. Is it biblical? The fratricide/Jesus line takes me to a Cain/Abel/crucifixion place. The blood. And um, monsters. Dinosaurs? It falls apart from there. And as it goes on, I can't find a palidrome to save my life. But here's what I think:

This song doesn't need words. It's about the sounds, especially the vowel sounds. Just get enveloped by it, awash in assonance and violins. As for the Palindromes? I think that's just a hint that this piece is meant as a verbal plaything.

Not a very interesting post, I know. But check this guy out. David Byrne+Lou Reed+Pete Seeger+Ravi Shankar=not a very good description, but the best I could come up with.

*I also googled it.

9 comments:

polyglot conspiracy said...

Hey, I just clicked over to your site from Semantic Compositions, and so far, me likey. Especially since the first post I see is all Andrew Bird, whom I loooove. He plays with words a lot; or at least the philosophical properties of words - another song on that album is "The Naming of Things." As for "Fake Palindromes," I think I've read that he was trying to come up with all the different rhymes possible with formaldehyde, though that doesn't seem to explain it all, at least nothing beyond the first verse. I have rattled my brain trying to figure out whether there's some pattern that makes the song full of faux-palindromes, like that someone would think they were palindromes or there were palindromical rhyme schemes...but I've failed to make such a connection.

Idle Mind said...

Too bad I don't know any of the names you listed, so I will just use my imagination. Well, it sounds like he is just bored.. probably. I could almost write a song mysself right now... even though I have homework. I like the Disney Bride part.

Anonymous said...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4469859

according to this interview, he's trying to match the "cadence" of a palindrome without having to create a true one. hence the title, wordplay, and nonsensical feel.

Straw? No, too stupid a fad; I put soot on warts.

Eric "Babe" Morse said...

Hey, Anon! Thanks! Cool!

Arabella Donn said...

Think of the last two lines of the song. Parts of this song are taken from a song that he used to perform live, entitled "trepanning."

Now, go back through the song and put the puzzle pices together.

I find it especially fitting that it comes just before "measuring cups" where we're going to get out "your measuring cups and we'll play a new game, come to the front of the class and we'll measure your brain..." Which takes on a ghastly feel when coupled with the thought of trepanning.

ACoolKid said...

Andrew Bird is opening for Guster at MSU Auditorium April 6th. Wanna Go?

Anonymous said...

The first thing that hit me about this song was the word "dewy-eyed." It's a fake palindrome. Arabella Donn got me thinking, too... isn't it interesting that trepanning is so easily manipulated into "entrapping" (or something kind of like it when it's 1.30am and you're sleep-deprived...)?

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