Of boats and sausages and briar pipes.

We do so love a nautical theme now and then. We were just thinking about Brian Eno tonight and a little song off 1977’s Before and After Science called “Backwater.”  The way the melody trips along also made us think of another piece called “Land Ho” by The Doors off 1970’s Morrisson Hotel. Both are catchy, and we don’t find that a bit fishy. Oh, come on …

Brian Eno (or Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno for short (what is wrong with you people?)) is one of our faves. He is a brilliant artist/songwriter/producer and has had a serious impact on popular music through his own work but maybe just as much so in collaboration with other artists. Talking Heads (and David Byrne after) owe much to him for his years as the band’s producer as does Roxy Music, Peter Fripp and others.

Experimental rock music
Thanks for dropping the whole glam thing, Bri. But maybe you took it too far.

Eno popped with Brian Ferry and Roxy Music in the late 1960’s but Eno’s artistic inclinations didn’t sit well with Ferry, unfortunately, so we only got two albums out of that combo before Brian (Eno not Ferry) took off for greener pastures. We suppose that was a good thing in the long run though given Roxy’s glam rock inclinations. And you all know how we feel about glam rock (the style, not the music – if we close our eyes, some of glam rock is superb). In a future post, we’ll share our ground-breaking and terribly important thoughts on the style of popular music, specifically the proportional relationship between the scale of male ugliness to the outrageousness of stage personas. Glam rockers take heart; hair metal bands are right in our cross hairs and we’ve got a bullet for each of them.

Lyrics to Backwater

Backwater
We’re Sailing At the Edges of Time
Backwater
We’re Drifting At the Waterline
Oh We’re Floating in the Coastal Waters
You and Me and the Porter’s Daughters
Ooh What to Do Not a Sausage to Do
And the Shorter of the Porter’s Daughters
Dips Her Hand in the Deadly Waters
Ooh What to Do in a Tiny Canoe

Black Water
There Were Six of Us But Now We Are Five
We’re All Talking
To Keep the Conversation Alive
There Was a Senator From Ecuador
Who Talked About a Meteor
That Crashed On a Hill in the South of Peru
And Was Found By a Conquistador
Who Took It to the Emperor
And He Passed It On to a Turkish Guru.

His Daughter
Was Slated For Becoming Divine
He Taught Her
He Taught Her How to Split and Define
But If You Study the Logistics
And Heuristics of the Mystics
You Will Find That Their Minds Rarely Move in a Line
So It’s Much More Realistic
To Abandon Such Ballistics
And Resign to Be Trapped On a Leaf in a Vine.


The Doors are one of those bands that we love to hear but in the end we feel like something is missing. We were talking about that not long ago with a pal and just couldn’t put our finger on it. There are some great songs in the band’s canon – maybe moreso than some other bands we like better. Oh well. There you have it. The Doors are nectar but with half the glorious sweetness. Kind of a bitter honey, we suppose.

Jim Morrison
The Doors (l. to r.: Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger, John Densmore)

<We paused for a moment from writing this post to go listen to some of The Doors’ songs and we think it just it clicked. Maybe it’s the indulgence of Jim Morrison. Yes, that feels right. Jim had a fantastic voice and wrote some admittedly interesting lyrics (Land Ho! is clever) but for crying out loud, you can feel the ego ooze. Bah. Maybe Jimmy was a humble man but his words sure don’t sound like that was the case. Now, having written this, it occurs to us that maybe the feeling that something is missing happens because the band never hired a bass player. Maybe that’s really it. Aw, who knows.>

Lyrics to Land Ho!

Grandma loved a sailor who sailed the frozen sea.
Grandpa was that whaler and he took me on his knee.
He said “Son I’m going crazy from living on the land
Got to find my shipmates and walk on foreign sand.”
This old man was graceful with silver in his smile.
He smoked a briar pipe and he walked four country miles
Singing songs of shady sisters and old town liberty
Songs of love and songs of death, songs that set men free.
I’ve got three ships and sixty men
A course for ports unread.
I’ll stand at mast, let North winds blow
Till half of us are dead.
Land Ho!
If I get my hands on a dollar bill
Gonna buy a bottle and drink my fill.
If I get my hands on a number five
Gonna skin that little girl alive.
If I get my hands on a number two
Come back home and marry you
Marry you, marry you. allright!
Eeeeey Land Ho!, Eeeey Land Ho!
If I get back home and I feel all right
You know baby gonna love you tonight
Love you right, love you right

Eeeey Land Ho!

Eeeeey Land Ho!

Eeeeeey Land Ho!


We’d forgotten this factoid: after Jimbo became dead in a Parisian bathtub, the remaining three bandmates decided to issue an album with music they had been preparing for the next The Doors* album. Bummer. So they decided to release it on their own and …presto!… we have Other Voices. It has its moments. We do have another sea-faring song to share and it’s probably the best song on the album (in spite of a gratingly stupid lyric: “Well you asked how much I love you, Why do ships with sails love the wind?” What?! This gives us a headache). Here’s “Ships with Sails.”


Lyrics to Ships with Sails

Well you asked how much I love you
Why do ships with sails love the wind?
And will I be thinking of you
Will I ever pass this way again
I’ll be returning some day
Until then, please don’t ask me my direction
Let my tracks be buried in the sea
‘Cause to wander is my infection
‘Till the four winds bring you back to me
Don’t count your memories
Think of me as just a dream
Just like this melody, I sing

Backwater
We’re Sailing At the Edges of Time
Backwater
We’re Drifting At the Waterline
Oh We’re Floating in the Coastal Waters
You and Me and the Porter’s Daughters
Ooh What to Do Not a Sausage to Do
And the Shorter of the Porter’s Daughters
Dips Her Hand in the Deadly Waters
Ooh What to Do in a Tiny Canoe

Black Water
There Were Six of Us But Now We Are Five
We’re All Talking
To Keep the Conversation Alive
There Was a Senator From Ecuador
Who Talked About a Meteor
That Crashed On a Hill in the South of Peru
And Was Found By a Conquistador
Who Took It to the Emperor
And He Passed It On to a Turkish Guru.

His Daughter
Was Slated For Becoming Divine
He Taught Her
He Taught Her How to Split and Define
But If You Study the Logistics
And Heuristics of the Mystics
You Will Find That Their Minds Rarely Move in a Line
So It’s Much More Realistic
To Abandon Such Ballistics
And Resign to Be Trapped On a Leaf in a Vine.

* Awkward isn’t it? We mean the use of the “The” in the band’s official name in the middle of a sentence, kind of like properly not using “The” in front of “Talking Heads” and “Eurythmics.” Don’t get your panties in a twist, though. This isn’t a pretentious blog. Just because we’re masters of the English language doesn’t mean we’re intentionally off-putting. We even put in a bunch of grammatical errors, syntax problems, and generally bad structure and logic just to dumb the posts down for the average readers and thereby avoid making them feel bad that they are being pummeled with brute force by the highly elevated writing of one of the world’s more awesomer blogs ever. Yeah, that’s right. It’s on purpose.

And as for the whole “Why do you Americans put your periods and commas inside the quotation marks?” thing, get over it. We’ve done a nice job of inconsistently placing punctuation throughout our sentences so there’s plenty of variety to please everyone.

Maakies Tony Millionaire
Permission to come aboard, Mr. Gabby, sir!

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