Sunday, January 14, 2007

Lyrics of the Day: Une Annee Sans Lumiere

Hey! The streetlights all burnt out.
Une annee sans lumieres. (a year without lights)
Je monte un cheval, (I mount a horse)
qui porte des oeilleres. (who wears blinders)

Hey, my eyes are shooting sparks,
la nuit, mes yeux t’eclairent. (at night, you light my eyes)
Ne dis pas a ton pere (don't tell your father)
qu’il porte des oeillieres. (who wears blinders)

Hey, your old man should know,
if you see a shadow,
there’s something there.

So hey! my eyes are shooting sparks,
la nuit mes yeux t’eclairent, (at night you light my eyes)
ne dis pas a ton pere (don't tell your father)
qu’il porte des oeillieres. (who wears blinders)

Hey, your old man should know,
if you see a shadow,
there’s something there

The story behind Arcade Fire's brilliant 2004 album "Funeral" which was my favorite album this year is that the band's members all lost family members either before, during or after the recording. I like to think of this song as an expression of the otherworldly feelings associated with grief. I had the idea that with loss, all the lights in the world turn out...and then the light of your lost one's memory is brighter than everything else, "lighting your eyes" for you. In this song, I made all kinds of associations to my friend, Josie, about whom I wrote before here. Her eyes were like "shooting sparks," the song was partly in French, and she spoke French, and another friend of hers sang a song in French at her memorial service. But I think the ambiguity of the lyrics would allow people to associate all kinds of things to it, which is probably why so many different people found profundity in this record.
That said, what initially drew me to "Funeral" was not the lyrics, which I barely listened to at first, but the sound of the music, and the singer who reminded me of David Bowie, so if you're not struck by the lyrics, go listen to the song because the sound is pretty unusual.

10 comments:

Marc said...

Why don't you talk about the issues? We're fighting for our lives here!

reb said...

!! It's too hard to talk about the issues and make everybody's mix CD at the same time.
yeah, reminds me a of a great lyric: Everyone's a critic and most people are Djs (Craig Finn) see below:
hold steady ybor city. you're up to your neck in sweat and wet confetti. if you want to get a little bit heady. it's gonna have to get a little bit heavy. we're jamming jetskis into the jetty now. with some guy who looks like rocco sefredi. and i've heard he's been dead once already.

it's going down right now in lowertown. they're skipping off the good ship usss sexuality. searching for the merchant with the five minute delivery. they're slipping soft rock into the setlist now. they got some new guy that looks just like phil lynott. we're stumbling but i think we're still in it. it's a big world girl and i can't understand it. we're tiny white specks on a bright blue planet.

i was a teenage ice machine. i kept it cool in coolers. i drank until i dreamed. when i dreamed i always dreamed about the scene. all these kids look like little lambs looking up at me. i was a twin cities trash bin. i did everything they'd give me. i'd jam it in my system. she had me cornered in the kitchen. i said i'll do anything but listen to some weird talking chick who just can't understand that we're hot soft spots on a hard rock planet. baby take off your beret. everyone's a critic and most people are djs.

working backwards from the doctor to the drugs. from the packie to the taxi to the cabbie to the club. a thousand kids will fall in love in all the clubs tonight. a thousand other kids will end up gushing blood tonight. two thousand kids wont get too much sleep tonight. two thousand kids they still feel pretty sweet tonight. i still feel pretty sweet.

someone said...

marc, i think we're fighting not just for our lives here, but for our humanity.
love...

reb said...

yeah, tell it! The HUMANITY!

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the title of this post be "Lyrics of the Week"? I mean, I checked back here just about every day and there weren't any new lyrics for those days?!?!?

reb said...

sorry man. I am blogging less and working more. If I ever figure out how to put an rss feed on this blog, you won't have to keep checking back. However, adding an RSS feed currently elludes me.

Anonymous said...

actually the lyrics seem to say "dis pas a ton pere...THAT he (le cheval) is wearing blinders". not "don't tell your father, who is wearing blinders"

Anonymous said...

actually the lyrics seem to say "dis pas a ton pere...THAT he (le cheval) is wearing blinders". not "don't tell your father, who is wearing blinders"

Anonymous said...

I wish you americans never discovered this Canadian gem

It beyond your thinking go back to Beyonce

reb said...

what an asshole. I write about my dead friend and that's what you write.