Friday, July 28, 2006

Enforced Secret Joy #8 – Twilight Singers' cover of “Hyperballad”

It’s originally a Bjork song, and she spins in a universe that’s a little too odd for me, but Greg Dulli and the Twilight Singers did this one on their covers album She Loves You and made it this beautiful wistful meditation.

And even though the lyrics most likely point to a dissatisfied chick whose boyfriend is clueless about her suicidal tendencies because he likes to sleep in, I prefer to extrapolate and lift it up to describe me and God. Not that God sleeps in, and not that He doesn’t know what’s going on with me (and not that I'm suicidal either. To me, throwing things off a cliff = kicking rocks about the whole God business in general.)

But at the very end, where they sing the phrase “Safe up here” over and over for at least a minute, it becomes such an uplifting prayer to belt in the car as I’m driving to class, and I’m able to convince myself that yes, I am safe with God, no matter what I toss over the cliff.

Thank you God, for this song. Thank you for the Twilight Singers, for Bjork, for the magic and generosity and enthusiasm of the art of covering other artist’s songs. Thank you for the concept of being Safe Up Here With You, thank you for the stubborn blinders I put on myself so that I can twist the song to mean whatever means the most to me. Thank you for music, thank you for uplifting, please give me strength to get through this day, because I am two seconds away from Liquid Eyeball state if I have to stare at this computer screen for another six hours in class. Please keep my eyeballs solid and in their sockets, because I need them to stare at cute boys and other examples of your majesty. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Amen.

We live on a mountain
Right at the top
Beautiful view
From the top of the mountain
Every morning I walk over to the edge
And throw little things off
Car parts, bottles and cutlery
Or whatever I find lying around

It's become a habit
A way
To start the day

I go through all this
Before you wake up
So I can feel happier
To be safe up here with you

It's early morning
No one is awake
I'm back at my cliff
Still throwing things off
I listen to the sounds they make
On their way down
I follow with my eyes 'til they crash
Imagine what my body would sound like
Slamming against those rocks

When it lands
Will my eyes
Be closed or open?

I go through all this
Before you wake up
So I can feel happier
To be safe up here with you

Safe up here
Safe up here
Safe up here
Safe up here
Safe up here
Safe up here
Safe up here


Midlife Virgin said...

Wow, never thought I'd hear "thank you, God, for Bjork" but whatever! As long as you're thankful for something!

Spunkyselkie said...

I haven't heard the cover - but the original is one of my faves! yes, Bjork can be a bit of an oddie, but I think this song is very accesible. To me it's not about a girl who wants to commit suicide, or even who is contemplating suicide, to me, it's more about being comfortable with mundane/normal life....and the need to do something ritualistically extreme to feel "relevant" and which enables her to remain in her "normal" or "mundane" life. Comfort as inhibiting but also not necessarily bad. I think it's an interesting song anyway you look at it!