Feb 18 2011

Thistle And Weeds – ’11-#9

Spare me your judgements and spare me your dreams
Cause recently mine have been tearing my seams
I sit alone in this winter clarity which clouds my mind
Alone in the wind and the rain you left me
It’s getting dark darling, too dark to see
And I’m on my knees, and your faith in shreds, it seems

Corrupted by the simple sniff of riches blown
I know you have felt much more love than you’ve shown
And I’m on my knees and the water creeps to my chest

But plant your hope with good seeds
Don’t cover yourself with thistle and weeds
Rain down, rain down on me
Look over your hills and be still
The sky above us shoots to kill
Rain down, rain down on me

But I will hold on
I will hold on hope

I begged you to hear me, there’s more than flesh and bones
Let the dead bury the dead, they will come out in droves
But take the spade from my hands and fill in the holes you’ve made

But plant your hope with good seeds
Don’t cover yourself with thistle and weeds
Rain down, rain down on me

This is my second Mumford & Sons piece – this one is based off of the lyrics to the song “Thistles And Weeds.” It’s the first Mumford & Sons song I heard, and I love it. It’s got a chord progression in it that is very similar (if not the same) to The Kinks’ Sunny Afternoon (listen and see – it’s almost exactly the same!)

Fun fact: this descending bass line featured in the song, or variants of it, has been used in a lot of popular songs over the years. Here are just a few (listen to them and see if you agree):
“Summer In The City” (Lovin’ Spoonful)
“Tales Of Brave Ulysses” (Cream)
“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (Led Zeppelin)
“Temptation Eyes” (The Grass Roots)
“25 or 6 to 4″ (Chicago)
“Bert’s Blues” (Donovan)
“Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” (Beatles)
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (Beatles)
“Dear Prudence” (Beatles)
“Brain Stew” (Green Day)

I knew when I found this photo, I had to somehow incorporate it into a piece. I was originally going to use it in “Little Lion Man” (another Mumford & Sons song). It ended up working best with Thistles And Weeds. The photo is of a Bulgarian Kuker, which is part of an ancient Bulgarian ritual (Kukeri Festival) to scare away evil spirits. A good explanation is here.

Interestingly enough (which I had no idea when creating the piece – I found it when researching what a kuker was afterwards), part of the Kukeri festival involves seeds (which is in the lyrics…But plant your hope with good seeds…Don’t cover yourself with thistle and weeds):

Once the people are assembled in the center of the village, a replay of the death and rebirth of the Kuker is performed. After the Kuker takes three bites from the bread and three sips from the wine, he is tied onto a plow. The villagers pull the plow and Kuker falls down, as if dead. The women of the village cover him with seeds, and immediately he jumps on his feet and starts to ring his bells, as in the beginning of the Kuker’s day, symbolizing his re-birth. At the end of the day, the seven animal skins of the Kuker’s leader are buried in seven different wheat fields outside the village, to insure fertile soil and a great harvest.

This piece took a lot of twists and turns along the way – enough so that there may end up being at least two other pieces that came out of the work I did on this one.

Photo credits:
Man (Kuker)Kronin30
LakeBrian Lary
TextureDavid Ritter
Other Texture – CG Textures