Sunday

30 day song thing: day 1, your favourite song.

This is a good meme, and if it's worth doing, it's worth doing properly.

Whenever anyone asks me what my favourite song is, what's my standard response? Gorky's Zygotic Mynci's 'Patio Song'? Ephel Duath's 'The Passage'? The Dillinger Escape Plan featuring Mike Patton's 'When Good Dogs Do Bad Things?' Humousexual's 'Humous Is Great?'

All these songs I've grown up with and loved. But what I consider to be my favourite song is a strange treat I might never have heard.




see the waters drifting by
on a winters day in the cold
i am the lover of everything
and i walk with a friend of the trees

the trees softly sing to the waterfall
and the water it sings to the soil
and the sky it longs for the sun

living alone on the riverbank
watching the fish swimming by
i am the maker of everything
and i soar with the birds in the sky

the elm cries out for the summertime
and the oak it calls to the birds
but the maker he sits and he sighs

the snow will fall on the empty fields
and will freeze the heart of the soil
i am the melter of everything
and the snow will flow to the stream

the stream it will flow i don't know where
and the time is past and is gone
and i just sing with the trees

see the waters drifting by
on a winters day in the cold
i am the lover of everything
and i walk with a friend of the trees

the trees softly sing to the waterfall
and the water it sings to the soil
and the sky it longs for the sun


'Lord and Master' really moved me. I heard it on the 'gather in the mushrooms' folksploitation compilation (a entry-level guide to the 60's and 70's uk acid-folk scene) which i bought at Borderline records in Brighton because I saw it and though 'I should own that album'. I knew that what I was buying was really a shopping list.

it's just serenely blissful. I don't know any other song which captures the bucolic charm of a babbling brook on a summers day, even though the lyrics describe a winter scene. The plants and rocks sing to each other and long for the summer to return. The 'Master' does not appear to know anything beyond this scene - despite being the 'lover of everything'. It's such a positive conception of a god. How good would it be, if there was a god, and this is how s/he spent s/his time: hanging out with trees and birds? A god who loves the world, who controls nature and will do so when the time is right - and yet knows nothing of the past and future. There's so much implied meaning in the words, and yet so much is mysterious. I could write an essay on what the song means, but the lyrics and music are there, so you could too.

It feels very tolkienish to me: there are shades of Tom Bombadil, master of his domain and one of the most powerful beings in the world (who calls himself 'the eldest' and 'master'; however, the one ring has no power over him, if that's any indication of his stature) - who lives a small, contented life with his darling Goldberry, a river-spirit.

Heron were a band who reputedly recorded their albums live in a field as an all-male 4-piece (although I'm sure I can hear female vocals in the mix, not mentioned in the liner notes but they must have been overdubbed). The self-titled album it's from has plenty of birdsong interludes, picked up by ambient mics, and was reissued as part of a 2cd roundup by dawn records.

Heron are not my favourite band, nor their debut my favourite album (although it's an excellent standby and often in my 'current listening' rack). I don't think this song is technically the best song ever. I don't believe in god, or spirits, or singing trees. But I just love this song, because it makes me realise how much I love this world.

Heron are still going, their products are available at relaxx records alongside 'complimentary therapies'.
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