Two Librans

Lyrics

There was two Librans sat on a hill (1)
And one always exiting to the easy gate (2)

Exit to two years to be perfect

Two Librans reflect
Two Librans high and low in mind
To Oprah Winfrey
She studied bees
Studied bees down
Two Librans (3)

War

The muggings 
Dressing a soldat (4)
Nelson in Timor (5)
Tolstoy in Ch-Chechnya (6)

You will reflect on wastage

Two Librans reflect
Two Librans high and low in mind
To Oprah Winfrey
She studied bees
Studied bees down
Two Librans

Exit to two years to be perfect

Two Librans reflect
Two Librans
The miracles on blonde September (7)

Back to the lick back to the deviant

 The Cambodian Cambodian 

(8)

 

 

Notes

1. Libra is the seventh astrological sign of the Zodiac. The sun currently transits the constellation Libra between October 31 and November 16. However, due to the precession of the equinoxes, Western astrology, which was codified centuries ago, still considers a LIbran to be someone born between September 23 and October 22. Libra is Latin for scales (of the weighing, not the piscine, variety), and the sign traditionally represents fairness, justice, and reflection, the last of which is mentioned several times in the song.

Dan: "In Dick Witts' 1993 book, Nico: the Lives and Lies of an Icon, this line appears: 'Jackson Browne had been born in Germany exactly ten years later than Nico. Two Librans.' Given Witts' and Nico's walk-on parts in Fall history, maybe MES read the book." 

The walk-on parts are as follows (again from Dan): "Nico lived in Prestwich for a time, and shared a house with MES' friend John Cooper Clarke. For a while her backing band included including ex-Fall personnel Una Baines and Martin Bramah. And she was managed by Alan Wise...MES mentions that he knew her in his Vice interview with John Doran. Witts was one of the founders of the Manchester Musician's Collective, under whose auspices The Fall played their first gig. He contributed to the 'Messing Up the Paintwork' conference in 2008, and his paper appeared in the subsequent book. Witts also founded the band The Passage, which Tony Friel joined when he left The Fall."

^

2. A fragmentary 1927 story by H.P. Lovecraft entitled "The Descendant" contains the following lines:

"He would travel leagues to follow up a furtive village tale of abnormal wonder, and once went into the desert of Araby to seek a Nameless City of faint report, which no man has ever beheld. There rose within him the tantalising faith that somewhere an easy gate existed, which if one found would admit him freely to those outer deeps whose echoes rattled so dimly at the back of his memory."

Mark E Smith has frequently decalred himself an avid reader of Lovecraft, so it is possible this phrase stuck in his mind at some point (thanks to nairng from the Fall online forum).  

And, Dan tells us, "it's worth knowing that historically an "easy gate" or "lazy gate" (or "patent gate") is a kind of gate it is possible to pass through without having to get off a horse or get out of a coach or vehicle."

^

3. Oprah Winfrey (who is, since you are wondering, an Aquarius) is not, to my knowledge, a student of bees, although Oprah did apparently have the cast of the 2008 movie The Secret Life of Bees on her program (eight years after "Two Librans" was released), and she was the voice of one of the bees in Bee Movie (again, several years too late to be relevant). There is also a fake youtube video--again, alas, post-dating the song--of Oprah releasing a swarm of bees into the adoring faces of her audience. It's not clear whether the "she" who is said to have studied bees is meant to be Oprah or one of the titular Librans, whom we may imagine making a guest appearance on the show.

^

4. Soldat means "soldier" in German, a language MES often (correctly or, more often, not) incorporates into his lyrics, and also has the same meaning in Russian, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, French, Catalan and Romanian. See note 6.

^

5. "Nelson" may be Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), a British naval hero whose name here may perhaps be taken as a synechdoche for British militarism or imperialism. It does not seem likely that Nelson ever set foot on the island of Timor, which had been under Dutch, Portugese, Indonesian and, briefly, Japanese control before East Timor gained independence in 2002 (West Timor remains under Indonesian administration). The island, particularly the Eastern half, has had a long history of struggle against colonial powers, and the line "Nelson in Timor" should probably be read as having more of a metaphorical or visionary intent rather than aiming at historical accuracy.

On the other hand (thanks here to Gnomus) the reference could be to Nelson Mandela, who in 1997 met with his fellow Nobel laureate and Timorese activist Jose Ramos-Horta, although he had been criticized for dealing with Indonesia and not proscribing their conduct in Timor, as this article explains: Mandela, East Timor meeting shrouded in secrecy 

And Dan points out that the HMS Nelson also made a voyage to Timor in 1825, when she was sunk by pirates...

^

6. Count Lev (Leo) Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a Christian anarchist and pacifist, and is, of course, considered one of the premier figures in world literature for his novels. Tolstoy served in the Russian army in the Caucusus region, and he lived in Chechnya in the 1850s.

There is a Tolstoy museum in Chechnya, and it re-opened in December, 2000, eight months after this song saw it's debut. But it was in the news earlier in the year, including an article in the Christian Science Monitor dated March 9--two weeks before the appearance of "Two Librans"--headlined "Lone Soldier Defends Tolstoy in Chechnya" (see "Dressing a soldat," note 4 above). The museum was seen as a symbol of Russian imperialism, and the Chechnyan government defunded it in 1997, but its director, the "soldier" of the headline, went to a lot of trouble, sans wages, to preserve its collection until the Russians entered the region and re-established the musem in 2000. The building in which the museum is housed was originally a schoolhouse named for the author.

Tolstoy's short novel Hadji Murat depicts the struggle between Russia and Muslim Chechnya at that time and, of course, this struggle continues to this day. "Tolstoy" could perhaps be considered a kind of term complement to "Nelson": in that case, a surface reading would suggest that, while the latter name conveys militarism, the former conveys pacifism, although this polarity is of course flipped when we consider the specific context. in any case, if we go that route we may also possibly detect the suggestion of cultural, rather than military, triumphalism and the hegemony of Christian and Western ideas in the name "Tolstoy" as well as the obvious connotations re: Russian military incursions in Chechnya.

In general, the two Librans theme here suggests a pair of opposites balancing the "scales": in addition to Nelson and Tolstoy we get "high and low in mind," and the close proximity of "muggings" and "dressing a soldat," which suggests someone dressing the wounds of an injured man. In that case, we could group these themes as follows: Nelson/low in mind/mugging, Tolstoy/high in mind/dressing. Certainly there is something like this at work in the lyrics, but how precise the symbolism is meant to be is unclear (and again, the associations are unstable, as the pacifist Tolstoy in context also symbolizes militarism and imperialism). But if we are to persist with this sort of thing it is necessary to add that the duality appears not just between, but also within, the "twins," and therefore two Librans adds up to four sets of ideas, symbols, or character traits. In that case Tolstoy will have to bear some of the onus of the muggings and perhaps also, then, Nelson must dress a wound or two.

From a contemporaneous Wall Street Journal article:

"With all my strength and with the aid of a cannon, I shall assist in destroying the predatory and turbulent Asiatics," Tolstoy wrote in a letter to his family from the front in Chechnya in 1852.

But I'll let the "soldat"/museum director have the last word:

Asked whether it is appropriate to maintain a museum celebrating a man whom many Chechens view as a Russian imperialist, Zagibov argues that the author should not be viewed in such a politically fractious light.

"Tolstoy is not just a Russian writer, he belongs to all of humanity." he says. "Tolstoy was a pacifist. He would have opposed this war too."

^ 

7. Dan tracked this one down:

The Jewish-Greek poet Joseph Eliyia wrote a poem called "September" ("Poems", 1944) which includes the lines:

"In the paradise of the seasons, my thirsty soul pines
Til she finds you, cool blonde September
Torrid heat expires in your breast, 
And your dawns are voluptuous, dewy, miracle of miracles".  

From Sean: "Especially given the references to violence throughout the song, I read “blond september” as an allusion to/mutation of “Black September,” the terrorist group most infamous for the killings at the 1972 Olympics." Black September originally refers to the armed conflict between the PLO (Palestinian LIberation Organization) and the Jordanian military in September 1970, after Israel took control of the West Bank and the PLO started operating against Israel in Jordan and threatening the Jordanian monarchy. That same year, the Palestinian terror group of the same name was founded, and they assasinated the Jordanian Prime MInister, and also took eleven Israeli atheltes hostage and then murdered them during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

Paul Go submits:

1st September 1939 marks the Nazi invasion of Poland, and is often seen as the start of the relatively famous WWII. The Nazis promoted a false notion of a superior blonde Aryan race. I suspect "Blonde September" refers to this.

^

8. The Lyrics Parade has "The Cambodian Cambodian [rip]" (square brackets usually indicate that the Parade is uncertain about a word). MES does indeed make a sound like "rip" here, but to me it just sounds like a variant on the noise he makes to indicate to the band that the song is ending, which sometimes comes out more like "hup!" or "whup!", and not a lyric proper.  

Thdemo version of Two Librans has different lyrics and, notably, Oprah Winfrey has not yet made an appearance:

Two librans sat on a hill One always exiting to the gate And I said I rue the day they met Masters of a mocked hill two librans...reflect...sat on a hill two librans The promises, casual; And one early end Mid-30 year dawn You'll you will reflect on wastage to get each of two thousand there Promises...masters of a mock hill 2 librans reflect, sat on a hill, giggling about... You will...reflect on the wastage of of your wasted money two librans reflect sat on a hill... Masters of the mock Sat on a hill...two librans reflect sat on a hill, the promises, casual...
 

SaveSave

More Information

Two Librans: Fall Tracks A-Z

The Story of the Fall: 2000

 

Barnet transcribes:

Blackburn on the 22nd September 2002 

There was two Librans sat on a hill 
And both were contemplating their various knowledge
As in Aries
As in the Beatles
Two Librans

Two Librans sat on a hill
Over the long long days

Reflect down the long long days of mortal knowledge
Wanted to be on.
How long will I be on MTV? 
How long will the strawberry-coloured freckles surround the house of the ridiculous idiocy?

Two Librans sat on a hill
Reflect
Genuflect

The nightmare of blonde September
The nightmare of Tolstoy in Ch-Chechnya

Two Librans sat on a hill
Reflect
On the long long days
Two Librans sat on a hill
Over the long long days

["As in the Beatles"--possibly a reference to "Fool on the Hill"]

Comments (72)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 04/05/2013
"The miracles on blonde September"

The Jewish-Greek poet Joseph Eliyia wrote a poem called "September" ("Poems", 1944) which includes the lines:

"In the paradise of the seasons,my thirsty soul pines
Til she finds you, cool blonde September
Torrid heat expires in your breast,
And your dawns are voluptuous, dewy, miracle of miracles".
dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 04/05/2013
In Astrology, as already noted, a Libran is someone born between 23 September and 22 October.

What nobody has done is look at the birth signs of the people mentioned in the song.

Nelson was born on 29 September, so he is a Libran.

Leo Tolstoy was born on 9 September,so he is a Virgo. Oprah Winfrey is not a Libran either.

So that didn't help!

Dan
.
bzfgt
  • 3. bzfgt | 04/05/2013
Crap, I can't believe I didn't even think of that. Oprah's an Aquarius.

If Nelson and Tolstoy were both Librans that would have been neat.

I'll move that blonde September up to the notes, that's one that I hated to have hanging...
dannyno
  • 4. dannyno | 04/05/2013
A different Nelson.

As noted above, Horatio Nelson didn't go to Timor. Maybe MES just got that wrong.

But the HMS Lady Nelson did - but it was her last voyage as the ship was captured by pirates and the crew killed.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Lady_Nelson_(1798)#The_loss_of_the_Lady_Nelson_to_pirates

Another relevant Nelson could be David Nelson, ship's botanist on Captain Bligh's Bounty. He was one of the Bligh loyalists who were cast adrift, and he died of fever at Timor.

Dan
dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 04/05/2013
"Easy gate".

There's a Lovecraft reference already in the notes, but it's worth knowing that historically an "easy gate" or "lazy gate" (or "patent gate") is a kind of gate it is possible to pass through without having to get off a horse or get out of a coach or vehicle.

Dan
Dan Coffey
  • 6. Dan Coffey | 25/04/2014
In 1998, Winfrey starred in the adapation of Toni Morrison's Beloved. Long shot, but Winfrey's character, Sethe, murdered several of her daughters. One of them, known only as "Beloved," comes back to haunt Sethe's new family. Could "Beloved" = "Bee"?
Dan Coffey
  • 7. Dan Coffey | 25/04/2014
I was half-joking before, but I think I'm on to something here: From The Horrors of Remembrance
The Altered Visual Aesthetic of Horror in Jonathan Demme’s Beloved.

By ELLEN C. SCOTT
(http://www.genders.org/g40/g40_scott.html)

"Not only do we see Beloved’s chronic excessiveness, we also hear it. Beloved invades and colonizes the soundtrack, marshalling control of the realm of the unseen, hovering sonically around the film’s margins. Her heavy, gasping breath, her slurred, moaning speech, her noisy, sloppy eating, and her demonically low voice all cause us to associate her with the basic bodily functions she has not yet mastered. Her body literally creaks, moans, gurgles, and groans but these sounds have no reasonable, ostensible source: they bubble forth from an unknown, untold internal location: they are not synchronized with her mouth and therefore appear extra-diagetic, although it is always her presence that catalyzes them. Beloved’s appearance also crucially ushers in another sonic motif: the sound of buzzing (of bees or flies -- we cannot tell which). Beloved appears to be herald and source of these sounds: we see neither bees nor flies on the image track in these scenes, although the soundtrack renders them swarms. The ambiguity of the source of the buzzing may itself be metaphorically significant, as bees are attracted to the sweetness of pollen and flies to its opposite, the stench of death, both of which are characteristics associated with Beloved’s form.
bzfgt
  • 8. bzfgt | 13/05/2014
Wow, that's pretty interesting. It's suggestive for sure, but I'm not sure what to do with it right now...I did read the book but it was 20 years ago and I don't remember much. I've never seen the movie...in any case your speculations are on the record here and much appreciated.
dannyno
  • 9. dannyno | 20/07/2014
Typo in your note 1:

"contellation"
Nbuck
  • 10. Nbuck | 09/09/2014
Some of my favorite lyrics in this one.
Martin
  • 11. Martin | 08/10/2015
I'm absolutely not sure about this, but does Mark E Smith not sing "There was two librans instead of the grammatically correct "were"?
bzfgt
  • 12. bzfgt | 23/11/2015
Yes! He says "was," changed.
bzfgt
  • 13. bzfgt | 23/11/2015
Damn it this whole song has disappeared and I have no idea why. I still have it in the page editor.
dannyno
  • 14. dannyno | 04/02/2016
In February 2000, the Tolstoy Museum in Chechnya reopened.
bzfgt
  • 15. bzfgt | 19/03/2016
Excellent, Dan! See my new note 6, this has shaken things loose. I'm not sure why I couldn't make the Chechnya/Tolstoy connection the first time out, I certainly Googled it and I'm not sure why this stuff didn't emerge. It may have been a careless oversight on my part, I remember looking at Tolstoy bios and entering "Chechnya" on CTRL-F, but maybe my initial Google search was inadequately thorough.
dannyno
  • 17. dannyno | 12/02/2017
I made a couple of alternative suggestions in note 4 above.
Richard
  • 18. Richard (link) | 30/01/2018
I'd always heard 'muggings' as 'muggins', meaning someone a bit daft, like 'the idiots dressing up as soldiers'
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/muggins
bzfgt
  • 19. bzfgt (link) | 12/02/2018
Muggins makes more sense, I think...that's appealing. Let me listen and see what it sounds like. I wonder how plausible it is to make a change here.
bzfgt
  • 20. bzfgt (link) | 12/02/2018
I don't know, it sounds ambiguous, as usual. Have to think about this. It could be "muggins"...
thehippriestess
  • 21. thehippriestess | 14/02/2018
Here's a reach re. Oprah...

"bees" comes from "wasps" which comes from "W.A.S.P.s", a largely derogatory American term used to describe what was both a chunk of her audience and a constant opponent around the turn of the century.
Richard@red-rabbit.org
  • 22. Richard@red-rabbit.org (link) | 17/02/2018
I sort of interpret it as talking about gullible idiots dressing up as soldiers. I also always thought it was "always exiting to see the easy gigs", though, so what do I know?
bzfgt
  • 23. bzfgt (link) | 17/02/2018
Yeah, that's suggestive (both comments actually). I think WASPS is a little too speculative in lieu of evidence but that doesn't mean it's not true; as for dressing up yeah, I mean there's some kind of war thing going on here.
dannyno
  • 24. dannyno | 03/03/2018
In Dick Witts' 1993 book, Nico: the lives and lies of an icon, this line appears:

Dick WittsJackson Browne had been born in Germany exactly ten years later than Nico. Two Librans.


Given Witts' and Nico's walk on parts in Fall history, maybe MES read the book.

Dan
One Virgo
  • 25. One Virgo | 15/03/2018
Wishful thinking that winfrey/bees is pre-cog of this
from
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jan/11/steven-spielberg-oprah-would-make-a-brilliant-president-and-i-will-back-her

Spielberg was speaking ahead of a press conference in London for The Post, at which the film’s star Meryl Streep said (Oprah) Winfrey talked like a presidential candidate should talk, and that she had the voice of a leader. “Whether she is leading us to the candidate we need or whether she herself is a candidate, she sets the bar pretty high on campaign talk.”

Asked about the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements Streep said we were seeing a “global seismic change”. She said: “As a movement it is pretty interesting to be involved because there isn’t a leadership hierarchy, we don’t know who the top dog is. We have a hive, it is like a hive of bees, there are more and more coming in. Everybody is making honey, everybody is doing the good work.
bzfgt
  • 26. bzfgt (link) | 17/03/2018
Please remind me of their walk-on parts in Fall history?
dannyno
  • 27. dannyno | 17/03/2018
Oh, well Nico lived in Prestwich for a time, and shared a house with MES' friend John Cooper Clarke. For a while her backing band included including ex-Fall personnel Una Baines and Martin Bramah. And she was managed by Alan Wise.

MES comments on Nico in the Vice interview with John Doran. See: https://youtu.be/aHpZlkbL_C4?t=8m18s. Asked if he knew Nico, he says he did.

Dick Witts says Nico even drank and played pool in the Woodthorpe.

Witts was one of the founders of the Manchester Musician's Collective, under whose auspices The Fall played their first gig. He contributed to the "Messing Up the Paintwork" conference in 2008, and his paper appeared in the subsequent book.

Witts also founded the band The Passage, which Tony Friel joined when he left The Fall.

Dan
Sean
  • 28. Sean | 24/06/2018
Especially given the references to violence throughout the song, I read “blond september” as an allusion to/mutation of “Black September,” the terrorist group most infamous for the killings at the 1972 Olympics
bzfgt
  • 29. bzfgt (link) | 15/07/2018
Sean, yeah, that definitely needs to be noted
Goylito
  • 30. Goylito (link) | 29/08/2018
Oprahs seen as one of the most powerful influential women in America. At the time of The Unuttterable her talkshow was probably at the height of its popularity. I always took the 'she studied bees' line to be about she learned from bees and their social structures and has become like a Queen Bee of America or whatever
bzfgt
  • 31. bzfgt (link) | 01/09/2018
Interesting, I think that is the kind of association that Fall lyrics provide without necessarily being designed with them in mind. But I think part of the point of the lyrics is to leave an openness into which such associations become possible.
dannyno
  • 32. dannyno | 02/09/2018
The lyric doesn't actually say that Oprah Winfrey studied bees.
Peter D. Hogg
  • 33. Peter D. Hogg | 08/09/2018
The chorus riff from this one reminds me of the beginning of Interstellar Overdrive by the Floyd. Its tenuous but don’t know if this link had been made?
bzfgt
  • 34. bzfgt (link) | 13/10/2018
Right, which is why my note that says: "It's not clear whether the 'she' who is said to have studied bees is meant to be Oprah or one of the titular Librans, whom we may imagine making a guest appearance on the show." Of course this doesn't necessarily exhaust the possibilities, but I must have thought it was reasonable enough, I guess.

Peter, I kind of know what you mean, it's descending.
Paul Go
  • 35. Paul Go | 20/12/2018
studied bees... bees? down?
no
is your spider-sense not tingling?
even with hard listening they're two different words.
the second has no S, the first doesn't start with a B.
neither of them are enough on their own to be a 'bees'

They are both phrases that say 'Oprah with bells on' surprisingly enough.
That's not a clue btw
Paul Go
  • 36. Paul Go | 22/12/2018
First eee word is : mid consonant~eee~sibilance
Second is : beee~low consonant/vowel ending

Quickest way is just say it out loud with the music off, and mutate through the possibilities.

she studied cheese
she studied geese etc.
studied beer down
studied beard down etc.

Keep in mind Oprah/conflict, the answer should pop out.
Paul Go
  • 37. Paul Go | 22/12/2018
This is where all those hours perfecting your MES impersonation finally pay off.
dannyno
  • 38. dannyno | 19/01/2019
It's definitely "bees", though.
dannyno
  • 39. dannyno | 19/01/2019
It would be nice if it was "peace" at least once. Libra/peace etc. But it's not, at least to my ears.
bzfgt
  • 40. bzfgt (link) | 19/01/2019
He's getting to you...it's definitely "bees," as you said when you were young and strong.
dannyno
  • 41. dannyno | 19/01/2019
Heh. I'm hard wired into hearing "bees".

There is a live version of the song which mentions "Aries" and "Beatles" or "Beetles". Aries and Libra would represent War and Peace, which might connect to Tolstoy. John Lennon was a Libran. Give peace a chance?

Could be "And war always exiting to the easy gate".... Rather than "And one"?
dannyno
  • 42. dannyno | 19/01/2019
In which case "Libran" doesn't literally mean "sign of Libra", it would mean the scales - the balance, or something. War on the one hand, peace on the other.

For some discussion of Tolstoy, War and Peace, and bees, see:
http://tolstoy.ku.edu/literary-crticism/bees-and-war-and-peace-by-michael-a-denner/

No idea. But Oprah was not in the earliest versions of the song - it evolved to include her. I think that's important.
bzfgt
  • 43. bzfgt (link) | 26/01/2019
Yes it could be "war" although "one" fits with the count of the title. The Testa Rossa is worth listening to, "they rue the day they met" oh I see I already have that...
Barnet
  • 44. Barnet | 28/04/2019
Blackburn on the 22nd September 2002

There was two Librans sat on a hill
And both were contemplating their various knowledge
As in Airies
As in the Beatles
Two Librans

Two Librans sat on a hill
Over the long long days

Reflect down the long long days of mortal knowledge
Wanted to be on.
How long will I be on MTV?
How long will the strawberry-coloured freckles surround the house of the ridiculous idiocy?

Two Librans sat on a hill
Reflect
Genuflect

The nightmare of blonde September
The nightmare of Tolstoy in Ch-Chechnya

Two Librans sat on a hill
Reflect
On the long long days
Two Librans sat on a hill
Over the long long days
Paul Go
  • 45. Paul Go | 24/05/2019
ffs... you have to be taking the piss? bees?
of course it's bloody 'peace', and studied 'being' down while you're at it.
how depressing.
Paul Go
  • 46. Paul Go | 24/05/2019
The brain is mightier than the ear.
'exit to two years', 'lick' and 'deviant' make no sense.
not a fan of 'one' either, and I think it's 'as soldats' and 'a wastage'
Paul Go
  • 47. Paul Go | 25/05/2019
Tolstoy mentioned 'hive-life' once in over 50 books and plays. He didn't write a book called ‘War and Bees’. Oprah isn't all about finding her ‘inner bees’. What is the thought process here? How and why does 'bees' beat 'peace'?
Pauline
  • 48. Pauline | 26/05/2019
I saw Oprah once, and she was like kind of talking about inner-harmony and self-forgiveness and stuff, which, I dunno, is sort of like 'peace', at least peace with herself and the people and things who pissed her off in the past. It was kind of depressing for everyone to be honest. Not sure if that's got anything to do with the song or whatever!!! I mean, 'bees' is equally good... who knows what goes on in Mark's crazy head, am I right? but seriously... I wouldn't want to offend anyone by saying otherwise, hell no, or to point out how amusingly and fucking ridiculous 'bees' is, I'm simply reporting some actual thing I saw once, I'll find a link if you want, my only thought was to throw it into the mix! Great work guys, sorry, thanks! x
Paul Go
  • 49. Paul Go | 26/05/2019
If your stuck for a process of progress, why not err on the side of not making a complete and utter pranny of oneself, at least in preference to the pathological timidity of unbridled consensus. I believe 'balls' is what one called it in days gone by. Go on my son.
Paul Go
  • 50. Paul Go | 27/05/2019
No no no... stay strong!

I might be being over-sensitive, but I'm seeing a pattern over the 20 or so threads I've tried to help out on,
if I say something different to you, or add something new, then it's forever wrong? No matter what? Good policy.

1st September 1939 marks the Nazi invasion of Poland, and is often seen as the start of the relatively famous WWII. The Nazis promoted a false notion of a superior blonde Aryan race. I suspect, 'Blonde September' refers to this.
Paul Go
  • 51. Paul Go | 27/05/2019
Joseph Eliya (1901–1931), Greek poet, scholar, Hebraicist, and translator. Obscure.
I can't find any reference to this terrible poem 'September', or any of the lines from it.
Paul Go
  • 52. Paul Go | 29/05/2019
Cambodia is inseparable from the Vietnam war since Nixon's 'madman theory' of B-52 bombing in and around the region from 1964 to 1973. Nixon expanded his strategy into Cambodia in 1969 with 'Operation Menu' which continued the following year as 'Operation Freedom Deal'. So much of the world is in desperate need for US help. Just look at the Native Americans. Genocidal do-gooders.

"Anything that flies on everything that moves." Was the famous order passed on to Kissinger. 2.7 million tons of bombs were dropped on Cambodia, exceeding the amount the US dropped on Japan during WWII (including the 2 A-bombs) by almost a million tons. This led to peasant support for the communist Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot who held power from 1975 to 1979.

In total, 1.5 to 3 million people died as a result, around 25% of Cambodia's population. Cambodia is 97% Buddhist.
Paul Go
  • 53. Paul Go | 29/05/2019
Western backed Indonesia's 1975 invasion of East Timor led to the deaths of a third of the population. John Pilger's documentary 'Death of a nation, The Timor conspiracy' is a good overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0CWPVWA6bw
Paul Go
  • 54. Paul Go | 29/05/2019
As far as patterns throughout the song go, Mark has chosen individuals going from violence to pacifism, contrasted with countries going from peace to war. Philosophical conclusions are confusing, mostly because of the changing justifications for, and perspectives on, war and peace.
Paul Go
  • 55. Paul Go | 29/05/2019
The finer points of the song are fascinating, and open to much debate, how individuals evolve or revolve self-righteously, especially magnified in these horrific super-power aggressions on small nations. All very Nietzschean.
bzfgt
  • 56. bzfgt (link) | 21/06/2019
Paul, it wouldn't surprise me if the lyric he initially had in mind was "peace," I think he changes things to phonetically close other things frequently. But I do hear "bees."
bzfgt
  • 57. bzfgt (link) | 21/06/2019
I have to return to this, that's a lot going on there
bzfgt
  • 58. bzfgt (link) | 21/06/2019
Yeah Eliyia's obscure, but you got another "Blonde September"? Worth remarking.
bzfgt
  • 59. bzfgt (link) | 21/06/2019
Nelson went from violence to pacifism? Other than Tolstoy, who else did...Oprah?
bzfgt
  • 60. bzfgt (link) | 21/06/2019
It's actually a great comment but as with many of them too tenuous to take further. It's here now though.
Paul Go
  • 61. Paul Go | 22/06/2019
Nelson Mandela went from violence to pacifism? yes.
Too tenuous? Seriously? Compared to what?
dannyno
  • 62. dannyno | 22/06/2019
Paul Go may need to Go and have a lie down, but it's still "bees".
bzfgt
  • 63. bzfgt (link) | 29/06/2019
I thought Admiral Nelson.

Too tenuous compared to if there were several instances.
Paul Go
  • 64. Paul Go | 30/06/2019
bees aren't even tenuous, they relate to nothing at all, just a hard wired buzz in your bloody ears
dannyno
  • 65. dannyno | 30/06/2019
It's still bees.
Paul Go
  • 66. Paul Go | 02/07/2019
No, it's 'peace' and 'being',
'Bees' is all your work.

Put it to a vote on your forum thing.

If 'bees' wins, I'll never darken your doorstep again.
bzfgt
  • 67. bzfgt (link) | 03/07/2019
It's "bees." I'm willing to call a plebiscite, though...
bzfgt
  • 68. bzfgt (link) | 03/07/2019
Aha, you already did...so far it's 4-2 "bees," and the other vote for "peace" is a protest vote (long story)
dannyno
  • 69. dannyno | 03/07/2019
It's always been "bees", it's always going to be "bees".
MES Sage
  • 70. MES Sage | 07/07/2019
Interestingly the Manchester bee keepers association is based in what was MESs local park https://www.mdbka.com. Or its "studied B's"
dannyno
  • 71. dannyno | 07/07/2019
"High and low in mind"

Can I take us off into new waters for a second? Waters with a Jungian flavour (we have other songs where Jung is in the extra-textual shadows).

Jung, in his Psychological Types (1921), proposes four cognitive functions: two considered rational (thinking and feeling) and two considered irrational (sensation and intuition). There are then either extroverted or introverted attitudes of each of those functions. Something along those lines, anyway.

You can read the book here: https://www.jungiananalysts.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/C.-G.-Jung-Collected-Works-Volume-6_-Psychological-Types.pdf

In the book, he discusses astrology's typology, which divides the zodiac into four trigons: fire, water, earth and air. The "aerial" signs are Aquarius, Gemini and Libra, and the "fire "signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

Now, while there's certainly a reading of the "librans" as in some sense symbolising the balance of war and peace, we could also interpret it in the light of Jung: the eros and logos dichotomy as lower and higher aspects of psychology. Maybe. Further exploration needed.
Paul Go
  • 72. Paul Go | 08/07/2019
High minded idealism and low self-esteem certainly rings true with Oprah. Also sounds a bit like the standard liberal template.

I'm never sure if Oprah's for real or not, she picks up on details and is sensitive to the feelings of others, she's willing to show weakness, all touchy feely, and coordinates her mannerisms to her guests... but then I think, how can she do this so consistently with all these celebrities, and amass a fortune in the process... she has to have cold streak to be that strategic and successful.

Don't know Jung that well, but Oprah appears to have introvert and extrovert aspects to her character, and she excels in all these: thinking/feeling and sensation/intuition you mention.

Add a comment