We Didn’t Start the Cryptids…

Sea monk, Dobhar-chú,
Globster, Loup Garou,
Goatman, Grassman,
Beast of Gévaudan,

Morag, Wampus Cat,
Nandi-Bear and Spring Heeled Jack,
Momo, Gambo,
Mantis-Headed Man,

Kongamato, Tatzelwurm,
Grootslang, Lambton Worm,
Mothman, Trunko,
Thylacine and Shōjō,

Hodag, Hoop snake,
Creatures in Tianchi Lake,
Lizard Man of Scape Ore Bog,
Jackalope and Loveland Frog,

No Sleep ‘Till Nairobi

And yet another lyrics post, this time to the song No Sleep ‘Till Nairobi by the band S’ who seem to have gone out of their way to make their name impossible to either conjugate or Google. No matter, the song – from the far off days of 2006 – stands as perhaps the best invocation of the loneliness of the long distance traveler ever penned.

No Sleep ‘Till Nairobi

S’

No sleep ’till Nairobi,
I’m sorry to leave,
But honey, you know me, and you know that I need,
To shake off this laugh track,
And wander alone,
But I’m always half back here at home,

Where we’re running frantic,
Trying to move,
Above the Atlantic, I got nothing to prove,
I’m solving this cocktail,
While you’re on the run,
And I’m watching this rock sail round the sun,

No sleep ’till Nairobi,
These weeks are too long,
But as the days go, we sing traveling songs,
To hum throughout Heathrow,
Yeah, it’s duty-free,
Are you using that seat?
No, I guess it’s just me,

Yeah, I guess it’s just me,

Oh, I guess it’s just me,

Out on the tarmac,
Boarding a plane,
Staring at stars that, I cannot name,
Everyone’s weary,
What time is it now?
Well ready, ’cause here we go somehow,

No sleep till Nairobi,
The credit card’s cashed,
Sick of this so we, slowly get smashed,
When we don’t feel well we’ll,
Say our goodbyes,
But I can call from my cell, ’till the battery dies,

We find ourselves, in cheap hotels, wondering why we cannot sleep,
We sit and stare, just outside where, strangers straggle through the streets,
And up this late, we compensate, with hot black coffee and CNN,
Until it’s clear, that though we’re here, it doesn’t mean we see an end,

To lonely drives, and drinks in dives, and anxious rides to who knows where,
(No sleep ’till Nairobi, I’m sorry to leave,  But honey, you know me, and you know that I need,)
Propeller planes, and Amtrak trains, and soaking rains in summer air,
(To shake off this laugh track, and wander alone, but I’m always half back here at home,)
And since that’s so, it’s time to go, so grab your clothes from off the floor,
(No sleep ’till Nairobi, I’m sorry to leave,  But honey, you know me, and you know that I need,)
I think we might, just chase this night, that’s passing right outside the door,
(To shake off this laugh track, and wander alone, but I’m always half back here at home,)

Where we’re running frantic,
I’m trying to move,
Above the Atlantic, I got nothing to prove,
I’m solving this cocktail,
While you’re on the run,
And I’m watching this rock sail round the sun,

Not Worth Hiding

Fadades notwithstanding, I haven’t done a lyric transcription in ages, so I thought I’d get back in the saddle by getting down the lyrics of Alex the Astronaut’s beautiful new track Not Worth Hiding. Definitely going to be in my Hottest 100 list this year for both its message, and for just being a really sweet song. So here we go…

Not Worth Hiding

Alex the Astronaut

I learnt to drive to school when I was sixteen,
And I was happy with my friends and we skipped class for time to breathe,
We learnt about the stars and the trees,
I cried when I found kissing boys wasn’t for me,

So I tried every trick in the book,
I tried talking to the pretty boys, and changed the way I looked,
But wearing dresses to impress just left me lonely and upset,
And the boys could tell when I looked at her I wasn’t interested in them,

It’s not worth hiding if you’ve got something to say,
And it’s not worth smiling if you’re feeling in pain,
And it’s not worth hiding if you think you might be gay,
Or different in another way, you’re perfect just the same,

I opened the paper and it left me in shame,
Said that these contagious gays aren’t safe and you should keep your kids away,
But I grew older and bolder, and my friends caught on slowly,
Nineteen and withdrew the weight from my shoulders,

We sang,
It’s not worth hiding if you’ve got something to say,
And it’s not worth smiling if you’re feeling in pain,
And it’s not worth hiding if you think you might be gay,
Or different in another way, you’re perfect just the same,

So tell me, anyone?
If you love them as a daughter, could you love them as a son?
We all smile at different faces, we all blush at different names,
But holding someone’s hand should never make you feel ashamed,

Your story might not be at all like mine,
I don’t mean to simplify, this should be in your own voice and your own time,
But the cages that they’ve made us, should soon just rust away,
And this song just won’t need singing, but for now I’ll let it play,

It’s not worth hiding if you’ve got something to say,
And it’s not worth dying for the people who will smile at your name,
And it’s not worth lying if you’re feeling in pain,
And it’s not worth hiding, ’cause happiness could be on your way,

Bad Contamination

The Worst of Perth has recently alerted me to the fact that Bayswater Councillor Sally Palmer has of late been peddling some truly atrocious poetry on the subject of a concrete plant being constructed on Collier road.

I know nothing about Ms Palmer’s politics, and while I have not been aware of plans for a concrete plant on Collier road I can see why such a proposal seems like a bad idea. One thing I do know however is what makes for a half decent poem, and I can say with certainty that “Black Cockatoo Calling” is probably the worst bit of poetry foisted on the people of Bayswater since Gina Rinehart defiled Morley with her poorly composed plea for less government regulation on the activities of disadvantaged mining billionaires.

It is a basic rule of English poetry that you can’t rhyme a word with itself – it’s cheating. Yet Ms Palmer rhymes “lands” with “lands”, “accord” with “accord” and “earth” with “earth”. Another rule is that of meter and scansion – lines should follow a uniform pattern of syllable count and stress. While not as bad as Ms Rinehart in this respect Ms Palmer still breaks meter all over the place. A basic understanding of grammar is also expected – I don’t think the construction “to do contamination” would pass muster in any high school English class, let alone “to do bad contamination”.

The horror engendered by reading Ms Palmer’s poetic burp got me wondering – how is it that apparently intelligent people can spew up the kind of doggerel that would embarrass William McGonagall but then be proud enough to put it on display for all to see? After some thought I think I’ve figured it out…

We all wrote poems in primary school. And almost all of them were awful. Awful, terrible atrocious poetry. But because we were young and just learning how to write and compose, our teachers encouraged us. A poem like “Black Cockatoo Calling” would get any 10 year old a gold star and maybe a special certificate from the school principal, despite its many obvious faults. And there’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever.

The problem arises when the 10 year old internalises the message “I’m a good poet!” and goes on through high school, and maybe university, without ever writing another poem. They never have cause to write more poetry, and never get any feedback that would let them know that their poetic skills have failed to grow beyond the levels of that 10 year old, and are – in a grown adult – simply an embarrassment. Throw in a desire to express strongly held beliefs about mining regulations or concrete plants and the stage is set for a horrible, poorly composed screed to be vomited out into the world, generating untold suffering and trauma.

If I get the time I may rewrite Ms Palmer’s poem into something more acceptable. But then again I may not. I am rather busy at the moment.

Bis In Alle Ewigkeit

Thanks folks for the kind words on my return. WordPress decided not to tell me about any of them, which is why I haven’t replied previously. I’ve also been busy on another project, which is why I haven’t been around the Wyrmlog. Details will follow in good time.

In any case, today I discovered that not only is there a German folk/rock version of the Hooters’ classic All You Zombies, but that the band responsible (Santiano) re-wrote the lyrics to be about Valhalla. Which can only be described as awesome.

Because I’m a nerd, I decided to attempt a translation. Here ’tis…

To the End of Time (Valhalla)

A cry of horns from far horizon,
The triumph of the Æsir’s thrones,
Let us follow close, seeking out our reward…

Have no fear about our leaving,
Death and darkness we’ll confound,
A hero’s grave is not for grieving,
We will travel where the trumpets sound!

We’ll meet again in far Valhalla,
We’ll sing the songs and drink the wine!
Feast with the Gods in fair Valhalla,
We’ll party ’till the end of time!

Lift your mugs to Odin’s glory,
Quaff deep, cry out a drinking song,
He gathers up his host, the bravest of them all…

The feast awaits with laden trenchers,
A thousand barrels filled to burst,
At the end of all our ventures,
Come and join us when you’ve grown a thirst!

We’ll meet again in far Valhalla,
We’ll sing the songs and drink the wine!
Feast with the Gods in fair Valhalla,
We’ll party ’till the end of time!

OK, that’s it for now. Expect some more activity soon.

Worms

I was musing on the historical origins of the rod of Asclepius in the shower this morning (as you do) and suffered another one of those attacks where my brain produces something completely awful and then won’t let me rest until I inflict it upon a candid world. So it is with great sorrow, regret and apology that I present the following vicious and unjustified attack upon the musical legacy of the Beach Boys. I am so very sorry…

Worm, worm, guinea worm, I gotta worm!
Guinea worm, worm, worm, I gotta worm!
I gotta worm, worm, guinea worm, I gotta worm!
Gotta worm, worm, guinea worm, I gotta worm!
Messing with my brain! Worm, guinea worm, I gotta worm!
I’m in real bad pain! Worm, guinea worm, I gotta worm!
I’m sick of all the healers with their same old tricks,
I gotta find a new Doc with a twisty stick!
I gotta worm, worm, guinea worm, I gotta worm!
Guinea worm, worm, guinea worm, I gotta worm!
Messing with my brain! Worm, guinea worm, I gotta worm!
I’m in real bad pain! Worm, guinea worm, I gotta worm!

Sorry.

Waiting for the Royal Dawn

So, it turns out that I had the lyrics of M83’s brilliant Midnight City completely wrong.

I thought it went…

Waiting for the call,
Waiting for the royal dawn,
Tonight the city grows,
Who can see the royalty glow?
Waiting for the call,
Waiting for the royal dawn,
Drinking in the love,
Following the neon signs,
Waiting for the world,
Looking at the mutated skyline,
City is my church,
It wraps me with sparkling twilight,

Which sounds downright mystical. But in actual fact it goes…

Waiting in a car,
Waiting for a ride in the dark,
The night city grows,
Look and see her eyes, they glow,
Waiting in a car,
Waiting for a ride in the dark,
Drinking in the lounge,
Following the neon signs,
Waiting for a roar,
Looking at the mutating skyline,
City is my church,
It wraps me in the sparkling twilight,

Which is OK, but more…. mundane than I figured.

Oh well, It’s still a damn good track, and I’ll still sing along with my words! 🙂