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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Music Station Selection

Thinking of Tom Waits (featured on Molly's blog this week) makes me think about Smoke, a band piloted by Benjamin Smoke, who died of AIDS a few years ago and is the subject of a fascinating documentary.

The movie helped me appreciate Smoke's music even more. His pathos is pretty overwhelming. Patti Smith wrote a ode to Benjamin, and it's amazing to see his reaction to Patti singing this song in the documentary. If you listen to the tunes over on the side bar, it's interesting to keep Patti's words in mind.

Her lyrics:

In the straw-colored light
In light rapidly changing
On a life rapidly fading
Have you seen death singing
Have you seen death singing
With a throat smooth as a lamb
Yet dry as a branch not snapping
He throws back his head
And he does not sing a thing mournful

Have you seen death singing
Have you seen death singing
Have you seen death singing
In the straw-colored light

He sings a black embrade
And white opals swimming
In a child's leather purse
Have you seen death swimming
Have you seen death swimming
With a throat smooth as a lamb
Yet dry as a branch not snapping
He throws back his head
And he does not sing a thing mournful

Have you seen death singing
Have you seen death singing
Have you seen death singing
In the straw-colored light

He sings of youth enraged
And the burning of Atlanta
And these viral times
And May ribbons streaming
And straw-colored curls a-turning
A mother's vain delight
And woe to the sun
And woe to the young
Another hearse is drawn
Have you seen death singing
In the straw-colored light

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