31 Days of Brannan – Day 4
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Today’s Playlist – Everywhere There’s Statues
Happy Fourth of July to all the US peeps out there!
There are three songs I am looking forward to (well hoping, actually) that Jay performs on this tour.
- Rob Me Blind (for sentimental reasons – see first day’s post)
- Denmark (for pretty much the same reasons as number one)
- Everywhere There’s Statues (today’s selection)
As we Yanks in the US celebrate the country’s founding, I was drawn to this song in particular. Jay muses with many things in this song, playing with common threads that no matter where you are in the world brings the question of what constitutes freedom front and center.
I love the imagery in this song. It is so poetic and riveting in both scope and appeal. It’s a mental floss moment in songwriting:
It’s like looking for hay in a stack of hypodermics
Shooting up grey through the cracks in the yellow brick road
And everywhere there’s statues with their arms open wide
Surrounded by fences that you, that you can’t get inside
That’s brilliant bloody writing, that is. Simplistic in nature yet evoking sentimental imagery that we can all commonly share. Four lines that have a great impact — questioning how we truly view the world and how we sadly often trade security for liberty in this day of casual terrorism. I can’t help thinking as we watch FIFA going on and the image of Cristo Redentor at the top of Mount Corcovado in Rio De Janeiro. Arms open wide (just as Jay calls to question) but there are so many oppressed peoples of the favelas there that will never find a path to a better life.
Heady words and a heady prospect. I often liken it to trying to explain the lofty goals as humans we set for ourselves only to fall well short of the mark. If we had to explain that to beings not from our world, an alien race per se, what would they see in our bold and charismatically infused words? Would they see the strive for that universal acceptance and utopian ideal? Or would they see us for the charlatans that many of us are? All words with very little bite to them?
The verse in the song that I love to sing along with kind of sums it up for me –
Sub-normal people do supernatural things
In a world full of demons with white feathered wings
I feel like I’m open hearted, but it’s a broken range we’re on
I know I’m not the only one asking where have all the cowboys gone
Can’t one of these cowboys come rescue me?
I need a little bit of rope n ride to keep me on my feet
I even allude to these lines of Jay’s in my first novel (coming soon) in that my world deals with the concept of Angels – the potential angelic ideal in all of us, and how sadly we often can’t bring ourselves to care enough to do something. Oh, we can acknowledge the horror, the inhumanity of it all, but how many of us are called to action to do something?
But it is Jay’s bridge in the song that carries the greatest emotional and reasoned impact in the song – for me, it elevates it and gives it its true power.
Face down on the hardwood floor
In one more empty corridor
I’m all alone in these halls
All is fair in love and war
If I can’t find an open door
Then I’ll start taking out walls
I’m face down on the hardwood floor
And not a soul with which to be
If this craving’s one to ignore
Then someone tell me what the fuck a soul is for
You go, Jay. I fucking love it when he kicks me in the emotive and mental parts all at the same time. This song is brilliant and works on so many levels. None the least of which is the orchestrated version on Rob Me Blind. I love the string arrangement in it. Very elegant touch in the final chorus – heightening the production value immensely from this little musical segue. Lovely arrangements, simply moving.
While Jay doesn’t travel with a band, because it would probably be a logistical nightmare for him as he does 99% of his work all by himself, I know I will have to supply the stirring string arrangement myself if he performs this one live. It’s how I’ll hear it in my head. This is bang on one of my absolute favorites songs of his.
I am a fan of his because his music makes me question, leads me to ponder, gives me a good mental flossing and prods me along to reevaluate how I see things. It’s like putting on glasses where things were simply so out of focus but you just plodded along anyway until you put them on and suddenly you realize the details in life you may have been missing all along.
Brilliant, brilliant work!
The Always, Then & Now Tour…
Sidebar: I bought my Deluxe Package from Jay Brannan’s store for the tour he’s embarking on now. The cost of the deluxe package is $40 and you get quite a bit for it. There are other packages as well. But that isn’t why I did it. I did it because I truly feel indebted to this man of words and music. I am enriched by his musical musings and experiences. I am emboldened to discover that I am not alone in my dreams and fears. And for that I will always support him and do what I can to spread the word.
Please check out his site with links for his upcoming shows. I am definitely a late comer to the Brannan bandwagon whenever he pulls through my city. But now that I am going this year, I am making it a goal never to miss when he swings through town. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity as well. Also be sure to check out his web store at the following link.