Tag Archives: original music

This Week in PHL: Killing Machine

This week in Pig Heart Lover, it’s “Killing Machine,” our musical reboot of the story of Samson and Delilah.  It’s clear that a fresh interpretation of everyone’s favorite judge has been long overdue, and we live to deliver.  In any case, our collision with Samson was overdetermined, if not actually preformed.  For which Biblical hero was more of a pig heart lover than our man of the sun?  So we join Severin von Kusiemski in singing his praises.  Click on the link in the song title for a listen.

Killing Machine

Once upon a very olden time
In a land ruled by philistines
A fearsome angel of the Lord
Appeared in an old man’s yard
To tell the man that he would bear
A son whose strength lay in his hair

“And Samson’s the name
He’ll be a killing machine
And he’ll put to shame
Those goddamn philistines
Those goddamn philistines
Those goddamn philistines”

So Samson grew into a man
Killing anything that came to hand
And then one morning he did see
A daughter of the enemy
And even if she’d have him dead
He’d still have her in his bed

“Oh Samson’s the name
I am a killing machine
And if you are game
You can take your shot at me
You can take your shot at me
You can take your shot at me”

Her name was Delilah
Her name was Delilah
Her name was Delilah
Her name was Delilah

She pressed him daily to impart
So he came to tell her all his heart
Then as he slept she shaved him clean
And delivered him to the philistines
Who forthwith plucked out both his eyes
And drowned his screams in joyful cries

“Oh Samson’s the name
He was a killing machine
But now he’s a shame
And the sport of the philistines
He’s the sport of the philistines
He’s the sport of the philistines”

Her name was Delilah
Her name was Delilah
Her name was Delilah
Her name was Delilah

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This Week in Pig Heart Lover: Turn the Page

This week in PHL, we tried slowing down another song and using the brushes.  It’s a sweet and easy song of happy leavetaking, so we thought the brushes worked out well.  Click on the link in the title for a listen.

Turn the Page

Pushing off down the river
Beneath a tangled canopy
We bid goodbye in a fever
To a dead-end scene
Sweeter wind, water sweeter
Washes the slate clean

The page is turned my darling one, forevermore
The snake has gone and left its skin upon the floor

Spilling out onto the ocean
As the sun sinks blissfully
We float among constellations
Burning brilliantly
So many dawns still unbroken
Await us eagerly

CHORUS

Should we draw nigh to some pale leviathan
we will steal softly by until we can laugh again

CHORUS

COMMENTARY

1. Pushing off

“Sometime chaos is an immense black hole in which one endeavors to fix a fragile point as a center. Sometimes one organizes around that point a calm and stable “pace”: the black hole has become a home. Sometimes one grafts onto that pace a breakaway from the black hole.”  This song takes as its theme this third aspect of the Refrain, the breakaway.

2. …down the river…

The first idea was to fill the melody slots with words from Rimbaud’s Bateau Ivre.  “Comme je descendais des Fleuves impassibles…”  Whenever I read Rimbaud, I understand with perfect clarity how far removed I am from the rooms of poetry.  I do what I can, and what I can do is take the little shards at my feet and try to reflect with them the light of greater suns.

3. …a tangled canopy

Signifying the difficulty in beginning the process of breaking away.

4. Sweeter wind

Walking into eternity on Sandymount strand, Stephen Proteus Dedalus ponders for a moment whether he should pay his nuncle a visit.  He decides against it, and utters in thought one of my favorite lines in Ulysses: “This wind is sweeter.”

5. The page is turned…

So turn the page.  To have done with the past, Friedrich Schelling says, one has to posit it as truly past.  (This coming from a philosopher who went through 11+ drafts of an account of the past.)

6. My darling one

Clearly I was thinking of Paul Westerberg here.

7. Forevermore

I really needed a four-syllable word that rhymed with “floor.”  Thanks forevermore!

8. The snake has gone and left its skin upon the floor.

A slightly expanded version but otherwise a complete and shameless rip-off of a line from Wallace Stevens’ “Farewell to Florida,” another, far more moving example of the Refrain’s love of breaking away.

9. …ocean … sun…

“Elle est retrouvée. / Quoi ? – L’Eternité. / C’est la mer allée / Avec le soleil.”

10. So many dawns still unbroken

A clear reference to the epigraph of Nietzsche’s The Dawn.  I take a humble bricoleur’s pride in this line. On the other hand, I could have sung it better in this take than I did.

11. Should we draw nigh to some pale leviathan…

It’s likely that at the back of my mind I was thinking of Peter Sloterdijk’s praise of the nobodiness of Odysseus.  (How did O extricate himself from the lair of Polyphemus? By being nobody.  “I am nobody.”  We could marry Sloterdijk and Deleuze and say that “nobody” is a life…, an anonymous but singular conscious embodied life that has lost the compulsion to have an identity.)  At the same time, the sentiment expressed in this bridge is problematic, insofar as it eschews what Raymond Williams would call an “oppositional” attitude toward the leviathan (understood allegorically as the state, the society of the spectacle, control society, etc.) for an “alternative” attitude in which a kind of negative liberty from it would suffice.  However, one could counter with Walter Benjamin’s insistence that the progressive tendency in a work of art derives more from the umfunktionerung of its given medium than from any attempt on the part of the artist to force the work to talk politics directly.