October 14, 2012
Set it to Music
The Owl and The Pussycat - The Bards // The Seventh Seal - Scott Walker
I am listening to a compilation called 'The History of Northwest Rock vol 2: The Garage Years. One of the songs compiled is The Bards' take on Edward Lear's magnificent nonsense poem from 1871. The poem has wonderful memories for me of my grandmother, and the only downside is that they don't manage to fit in my favourite line (someone please put 'runcible spoon' into a song):
"They dined on mince and slices of quince, which they ate with a runcible spoon"
This in turn, naturally led me to think of my favourite Scott Walker song 'The Seventh Seal' in which he recounts the events of Ingmar Bergman's cinematic masterpiece as an equally powerful pop song. If you do not have the mettle to sit through the film, you can at least listen to the song, which will give you enough knowledge to follow a conversation about the film with people you are trying to impress, or even subtly divert the conversation with the comment "have you heard Scott Walker's interpretation of 'The Seventh Seal'?" which will surely garner you respect and admiration from all (and therefore continue the conversation along lines well traversed by you. A win-win situation).
Here are a few choice lines from the song:
Anybody seen a knight pass this way / I saw him playing chess with Death yesterday / His crusade was a search for God and they say / It's been a along way to carry on
My life's a vain pursuit of meaningless smiles / Why can't God touch me with a sign / Perhaps there's no one there answered the booth / And Death hid within his cloak and smiled
My life's a vain pursuit of meaningless smiles is such a wonderful phrase.