Pine Leaves

Lyrics

(1)

(They gave their lives during the occupation
Arranged at the end of Japan

It was not a concentration camp

Annihilation

A million dead here

Annihilation) 

And still we believe
As ghost presence

How does it show a dream

As ghosts
Decide

I've heard the same

How does this end

They come from
They come from verdant albion (2)
And still
Still they breathe

The corpor of this leaden leaf
Folding out with ghost
Censure
Still in the tub of side for bone shakes

These apes were once born
Fluid now
That's the truth

Drawn from the in-outlet

(One hundred thousand people perished there)

I still wish I could have seen you all

They lived thousand
The hills at dusk
Because they knew all the horrible

Culturations and evocations

Formulae
From verdant green-yellow puddles
Aesop
Purcell appears in the form of an angel
It's now
No good
Twice

(I want to wish you a happy journey back home)

 

Notes

1. It is hard to pin down the exact story or situation that these lyrics allude to, if such there is. I think they are meant to be evocative, and not to congeal into anything too determinate; as is not entirely unprecedented in a Fall song, there is nonsense at the level of phrases ("verdant green-yellow puddles") and words ("corpor"), and the whole, if not nonsense, doesn't seem to entirely make sense, either. It is almost as if the arrangement of words is, like an abstract painting, made for the sake of a whole that is not reducible to its parts but is not clearly representing anything either. The song seems to me to evoke death and the transitory nature of life, and has a wistful feel in keeping with such a theme. 

MES told the NME, in 1995"You know how the British veterans of Japanese POW camps have gone over to Tokyo to get compensation? Well, I had two uncles who were both tortured in Japanese POW camps and they've been going on about how they were tortured and never got any compensation ever since. And they died last week! Four days before they were going to set off for compensation?"

It is amusing to think that the question mark at the end suggests a sinister causal link, but of course it is the editor's punctuation, and MES follows it by saying "That's my idea of a funny story, anyway."

^

2. Albion is the oldest known name for the British Isles, and is sometimes used by poets to refer to England or Great Britain (Blake often used the word).

^

Comments (5)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 28/04/2014
Many of MES's songs are haunted by war and the effects of military conflict, and this is surely one of them.

MES had relatives who were in Japanese camps.

See this piece from the NME in 1995:
http://www.visi.com/fall/gigography/95xxnme.html

"You know how the British veterans of Japanese POW camps have gone over to Tokyo to get compensation? Well, I had two uncles who were both tortured in Japanese POW camps and they've been going on about how they were tortured and never got any compensation ever since. And they died last week! Four days before they were going to set off for compensation?"
dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 28/09/2014
I've been thinking about this some more.

I've been assuming the found voices are talking about Japan, and the post-war occupation of Japan. But thinking about it, I can't really make that stand up.

I think "at the end of Japan" probably means the defeat of Japan in the second world war.

"Not a concentration camp" and "A million dead here" could come from audio-tours of places like Auschwitz-Birkenau - these were indeed not merely "concentration camps" but extermination camps.
dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 28/09/2014
And, with that new direction, some useful connections emerge,

The Pines of Birkenau:
http://en.auschwitz.org/m/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=273&Itemid=8

"During World War II, pines were the main tree species surrounding gas chambers IV and V.

After the war, intense air pollution in the form of industrial particulates from the local chemical plants caused the mass dying off of the pines, which were replaced by birch trees that sprang up as wild growth. Current efforts aim at restoring the original appearance of the woods. "
Zack
  • 4. Zack | 10/05/2016
That NME quote about MES's uncles might also give us insight into the hysterical POWs of "Fall Sound".
bzfgt
  • 5. bzfgt | 24/06/2016
Thanks, Zack, I stuck a note in "Fall Sound."

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