Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Song for a Crappy Tuesday: February Covers Edition

As you leave the freezing house of the four sisters of February Tuesdays, it is the oldest who sees you to the door. She wobbles on her knotty joints but she insists that it is her duty to show you out.

Even though she is the oldest, she is the most youthful, with yellowy hair stringing down her back "to scare the neighbor kids into thinking she's a gorgon." She giggles at everything. It's hard to tell if it's all one big joke on her part, or if she teetering on the cliffs of true dementia.

Either way, she sure smiles a lot.

The Eldest Tuesday Sister, reaches the door and hesitates. She leans forward and wraps her arms around you - crushing the zip locked Jello left-overs foisted on you by the Middle February Tuesday Twin Sisters (they are pushy and have no compunction over dragging visitors into their squabbles. It makes for an uncomfortable lunch..which always seems to consist of pork and beans.).

"I wish you didn't have to go." She says.

You nod.

"I wish we could see you sooner." She leans back and brushes the hair from your forehead. "But some things we just have to wait for, I suppose. No helping it."

You nod again, and a wave of loss breaks over you. The last thing you want to do is make her cry, so you force a half smile and give a quick squeeze back.

In the car, you look up at the house. The Eldest Sister stands in the doorway waving. As you pull away, a loud witch's cackle rings through the air and in the rear view mirror the reflection of three little boys running away from the house flashes by.

You chuckle and gun the motor....you need to get to a gas station and fast.

Arcade Fire's "My Body is a Cage" - from their 2007 album Neon Bible - is easily one of my favorite songs of the past couple of years. Imagine my delight when I found a cover of it by Sara Lov.

Arcade Fire's version of this song, regardless of the powerful pipe organ and snare that accompany Win Butler's tortured voice, is so intimate it's almost uncomfortable. Like a soul (or whatever you want to call it) shrieking out inside the captivity of the body. It might be the result of my upbringing or my more religious proclivities that I would think the body and the soul to be so separate from one another - that the body is a prison for the greater self that resides within.

But, Christ, don't we all feel that way from time to time? As if something is calling out inside and no one can hear it?

Compare it to Sara Lov's version which, for all it quiet pianos and stringed backups, sounds more external. She, in the quiet of her suburban living room, sings in almost a lullaby...but she must be careful. Hush. No loud drums, no choirs. You'd best be quiet lest the neighbors hear your calls.

Or maybe she wants them to. The neighbors get just enough to ask, "What was that music coming from your kitchen?"

Then she can say, "What do you mean? I didn't hear anything."

***Yes, Jan, Your Kate Bush pleas have been heard...I'll have a surprise for you next week.


Jan Smelk said...

But this Sara Lov thing sounds like something I need to look into.

Crazypants said...

will you please write a children's book about the sisters february? or a play? about all the months? can we make a phone date, dammit?

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