13 November 2005

Joanna Newsoms grow on you...

When I first heard Joanna Newsom's The Milk Eyed Mender, I hated it ... artificial little girlie voices always get my hackles up.

Alas, when teaching it's impossible to avoid music that's currently enjoying popularity and so I heard it over, and over, and over, and over again ... and, to my surprise, found my mind changing ... I've never been able to resist the playfully inventive, and this was exactly that. The words are used in inventive ways; so is the music; so, I had to grit my teeth and admit, is that voice.

In the end I collapsed completely and bought the CD.

The first track brings to mind Clarissa Vincent, currently sailing the world with a small dog Luba in her eight and a bit metre boat Storm Petrel of Narnia:

Joanna Newsom: The Milk-Eyed Mender:
"Bridges and Balloons"

We sailed away on a winter's day
With fate as malleable as clay;
But ships are fallible, I say,
And the nautical, like all things, fades

And I can recall our caravel:
A little wicker beetle shell
With four fine maste and lateen sails,
Its bearings on Cair Paravel

O my love,
O it was a funny little thing
To be the ones to've seen.

The sight of bridges and balloons
Makes calm canaries irritable;
They caw and claw all afternoon.
Catenaries and dirigibles

Brace and buoy the living-room
A loom of metal, warp woof wimble.
And a thimble's worth of milky moon
Can touch hearts larger than a thimble.

O my love,
O is was a funny little thing
To be the ones to've seen

Oh my love
Oh it was a funny little thing
It was a funny, funny little thing

Newsom, J. The Milk Eyed Mender. 2004 Chicago: Drag City. DC263CD.

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