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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:28 pm
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has anyone heard of "they came to a river," a novel by allis mckay? i completely fell upon it at a book give away in my town and of course snatched it because of the title. i just started reading it and it is really wonderful--can't help but thinking there might be some connection. ... 0832301159

PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:35 pm 
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Nina In Ecstasy / Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep

More than one version of the song but the group Middle Of The Road
seemed to have a UK hit with it in the 70's.

This one caught me off gaurd. I was at work Saturday and a friend is in the habit of singing me lines so he can try and track down some old song he remembers. Today it was "Where's your mama gone? Where's you papa gone? Far far away" :shocked: I've heard similar lines before me says lol. Started running some lyric lines on Google and found the song he was looking for.

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep

"The PJ Harvey song Nina In Ecstasy contains an interpolation of the lines "Where's your mama gone (Where's your mama gone) / Far far away"

how will you ever walk again...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:43 pm 
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Amazing! Nice find bluesman...

My PJ Harvey gallery

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:59 pm 
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she did nina after watching some porn in a hotel room :lol:

you can't straighten my curls

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:00 am 
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she penned nina after watching/being inspired by some porn in a hotel room apparently :lol:

you can't straighten my curls

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:30 pm 
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maiminimono wrote:
has anyone heard of "they came to a river," a novel by allis mckay? i completely fell upon it at a book give away in my town and of course snatched it because of the title. i just started reading it and it is really wonderful--can't help but thinking there might be some connection. ... 0832301159

don't know the book - looks fine, though, but isn't the lyrics: they came to THE river' :???: might not matter, though.
Did u find any other parallels? :smile:

'Good Golly, Miss Polly!'

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:03 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 94
I'm new here but have been lurking for a little bit. I really enjoyed reading this post and wanted to add some references I recently read. In the LES liner notes, it is mentioned that parts of The Glorious Land and In the Dark Places were inspired by excerpts from a book called Russian Folk Lyrics. I was curious so I checked the book out of the library. I found quite a bit!

I haven't finished reading it all yet, but this is what I have found so far (most are excerpts from longer lyrics):

No Title- (Grow Grow Grow)

Beneath the oak grove is flax, flax
Beneath the green grove is flax, flax
"Already I have sown, sown the flax,
And I kept repeating,
With my boots I beat it down,
On all sides I turned it:
Turn out well, turn out well, my flax
Turn out well, my white flax,
Catch someone's fancy, my darling!"
"Teach me, mama,
How to weed the flax."
"Well this is how, daughter,
This is how, daughter of mine,
This is how, little dove,
This is how, little dove."

St. George's Songs (In the Dark Places)

We got up very early,
Washed our white faces,
Walked around the fields
Put up crosses,
Invoked Egor':
Brave Egor',
Macarius the saint!
Protect our flocks,
Every animal-
In the field and beyond the field
In the forest and beyond the forest
For you wolf, bear,
Old beast,
Fox and hare-
A stump and a log
At the edge of the forest!

You mean old lady,
Stump and log,
At the edge of the forest!
Go to Tatarus (Hell)
Return again,
Pass through the damned mountains
Don't find your way back!

We walked around the field
Invoking Egor',
Praising Macarius:
You, our brave Egory,
Macarius the saint!
Save our flocks
In the field and beyond the field
In the forest and beyond the forest,
Under the bright moon
Under the beautiful sun,
From the nasty wolf,
From the mean bear,
From the sly beast!

No Title (Its You)

I will tell mama-
My head aches,
I feel bad,
I feel like taking a walk!
I'll sneak off-
I'll walk a bit,
I'll steal away-
I'll go kissing.
"Oh, you dear young man!
Teach me, sweetheart,
How to walk home."
"Walk, clever girl,
Walk, smart girl"

I thought
And thought some more:
To whom could I pray?

No Title (The Glorious Land)

How is our glorious land being ploughed?
Not by wooden ploughs is our glorious land being ploughed,
Not by iron ploughs-
Our land is being ploughed by horses' hooves;
And the glorious land is being sown with Cossack heads.

No Title (The Mountain)

Along the mountains,
Along the high mountains
A young gray eagle
Was flying high
Flying high,
Shrieking pitifully.
In the formation a soldier
Was sighing heavily:
"For myself I am not sorry, not sorry
For myself
I am only sorry
For the green garden:
In the green garden
Are three trees:
The first tree
Is a cypress,
The second tree
Is a sweet apple tree
The third tree
Is a green pear tree.
The cypress tree
Is my dear daddy:
The sweet apple
Is my dear mamma,
The green pear
Is my young wife

No Title (Bitter Branches)

It is not a little white birch bending toward the earth,
It is not silken grass spreading out in the field-
It is bitter wormwood spreading out, spreading out.
Nothing in the field is more bitter than you, wormwood!

In the white world the soldiers go on campaigns,
Go on campaigns, stand in formation,
Stand in formation and hold their rifles.
Stand with frisky feet in the damp earth,
Hold onto their fiery rifles with their white hands,
With their bright eyes they look beyond the Danube.

No Title (Uh Huh Her)

I said to my dear sweetheart,
Tearfully, complaining, I begged my dear sweetheart:
"Don't marry, my dear-tender sweetheart, don't marry,
As long as I live, now a pretty maid, I will not marry."

"Well, enough, my soul, of grieving and crying!
No matter how much you have cried, it is time to stop:
It is not for you to fill the blue sea with tears,
For you to sow the bare field with pining and anguish
For you to comfort your dear sweetheart with words."

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:18 am 
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^ Holy shit, great finds! I like what she did with them and how she gave them life, but it's a bit disappointing how similar they are.
Can someone post the Tolstoy story that she used for The Devil? I remember it being posted one time.

I'll rub it, until it...

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:47 am 
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Location: Chicago

the book is called Russian Folk Lyrics?
this one?


PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:05 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 94
Yes, that is the book.

Here is another one from it:

No Title (Bitter Little Bird)

The snowball bush and the raspberry bush were drenched with water-
At the time mama gave birth to me.
Without collecting her thoughts, she gave me in marriage.
I had not been to visit mama for three years.
In the fourth year I decided to go.
I will change-transform myself into a bitter little bird,
Bitter will I fly to mama's garden,
Bitter will I sit on the sweet apple tree:
With bitter tears the whole garden I will drench,
With bitter laments my life, my heart I will dry up.
And mama will walk along the new passages,
The bride-swallows will she awaken:
"Brides, swallows, get up quickly!
Why is a bird singing in our garden?
Where is she, bitter bird, lamenting?"
My oldest brother will say: "Let's shoot it!"
My middle brother will say: "Let's catch it!"
But my youngest brother will say: "Why has she come to us?
Isn't she our bitter sister from a far-off land?
Come, bitter sister, up to our high tower.
Tell us about your sorrow, ask us about ours:
How are they taking daddy and mama beyond the Volga,
Oldest brother they are turning into a soldier,
And middle brother's hair they'll crop for a lacky,
And youngest brother- turn into a shop assistant."

I was also surprised at first at how close she kept some of her lyrics, but most of what I posted were just the relevant parts of longer lyrics, and I think on quite a few she didn't keep the context of the full lyrics in the book. It's kind of like she used them as some kind of writing prompt. I was mainly surprised by how many there were!

I don't know if anyone had posted about Pig Will Not already, but the notes on A Man A Woman Walked By cite that it was inspired by Baudelaire's The Rebel:

Falling abruptly like a bird of prey from the sky,
A furious angel seizes the sinner by his hair
And says, "I will teach you to behave, do you hear me? I
Am your good spirit!" And shakes him angrily in the air.

"I will teach you to be kind — to love, without making a face,
The poor, the deformed, the depraved, the uncivil, the dirty, the dumb
That you may help with your charity to prepare a place
Here upon earth for Jesus when he is ready to come.

"Such is true love — the only virtue that exists,
The only happiness that endures. Take heed, before
Your heart is completely petrified and your senses rot."

And pounding upon his victim with his colossal fists
In love and in fury, the angel cannot cease to implore —
Nor the accursèd one to answer: "I will not!"

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 11:56 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 94
Shadowboxer, here is a small excerpt from Tolstoy's "The Devil"

When he entered the drawing room everything seemed strange and unnatural to him. He had risen that morning vigorous, determined to fling it all aside, to forget it and not allow himself to think about it. But without noticing how it occurred he had all the morning not merely not interested in himself in the work, but tried to avoid it. What had formerly cheered him and been important was now insignificant. Unconsciously he tried to free himself from business. It seemed to him that he had to do so in order to think and plan. And he freed himself and remained alone. But as soon as he was alone he began to wander about in the garden and the forest. And all those spots were besmirched in his recollection by memories that gripped him. He felt that he was walking in the garden and pretending to himself that he was thinking out something, but that really he was not thinking out anything, but insanely and unreasonably expecting her; expecting that by some miracle she would be aware that he was expecting her, and would come here at once and go somewhere where no one would see them, or would come at night when there would be no moon, and no one, not even she herself, would see- on such a night she would come and he would touch her body...

This is an excerpt from "Voices of Gallipoli", also cited on LES as inspiring The Colour of the Earth. It is from the narrative of Vic Nicholson, a veteran of the campaign:

I lost my dearest friend, Teddy Charles, that day. We joined up together and saw the campaign through together until Chunuk Bair. There were no officers left, no NCOs. Just soldiers. Teddy led thirty men forward to try and hold the ridge. He called, "Come on Vic," but I was impeded by Turkish fire. We never saw those thirty men again. Later, in the dark, I thought I heard Teddy's voice calling for his mother, then for me. By then the place was crawling with Turks and I couldn't get to him. He's still on Chunuk Bair, a pile of bones.... If I was asked to give a description of the colour of the earth on Chunuk Bair on the eighth or ninth of August, I would say it was a dull or browny red. And that was blood. Just blood.

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 4:31 pm 
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Posts: 450
^ Thanks so much for posting these!

I'll rub it, until it...

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:02 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 1121
Location: Sussex, England
Thankyou, March.

Wiggins is so superbly unassuming, he looks like he's about to say 'Pop the gold medal in the post, I'm nipping out for some biscuits'

Mark Steel

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:42 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:20 pm
Posts: 94
I've just finished reading Gallipoli by Les Carlyon and it seems to have been a huge influence on LES. The book is mostly a narrative but also contains lots of excerpts from first hand accounts from people in the campaign. Throughout the book there are numerous phrases that appear in several LES songs. I can't remember all of them, but I did note a few that struck me as I was reading:

"A shooting star cascades through the night and the moon begins to slide down behind the Sphinx, the jagged spur, fluted and sharp like a rotten tooth, that dominates this part of the beach."

"The Anzacs were not going forward; they were clinging to 400 acres of useless beachfront, as though staying there was a point of honour, which it was."

"You had to know you were alive here. Death was everywhere, in the air and in the sounds coming from second ridge. Death was there when you rolled a smoke or told a joke or carted water. Day and night it was there."

"White had a sense of duty; he kept his disappointments for his diary: 'Dear little wife and kiddie I seem so far away from you all; I do not want to speak about the war; it's horrible. If I let myself think too much my nerves would go. Have seen and done things I want to forget.'"

"Godley didn't know much but, like Enver, he knew the rhetoric one falls back on to dress up defeat as victory, the words that make murder sound like an act of statecraft."

"I was in the first line to advance and we did not get ten yards. Everyone fell like lumps of meat...All your pals that had been with you for months and months blown and shot out of all recognition..."

"Pinnock arrived in an Egyptian hospital and suddenly realized he had come from an unearthly place. He was overjoyed to see a woman's face and hear a piano."

"The mines at the Nek killed 70 Turks, probably wounded hundreds more, left two great craters and rattled the bones of the light horsemen lying in the open after the four charges of August 7."

There's a lot more in the book that I didn't mark and don't have the exact quotes for. I recall references to swarms of flies, the scent of thyme, a string of cutters, caved in trenches, a corporal with nerves gone, a bank of red earth and quite a bit more.

The book is incredibly well written and completely devastating. It was a difficult read (I actually woke in the middle of the night terrified by dreams I had relating to what I was reading) but I am glad I finished it. I certainly approach the songs in a new way after reading about the realities of the campaign. I think Polly did very well when she put the songs together.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Thanks for sharing this.

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