Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Oh where are you now pussy willow that smiled on this leaf?

Syd Barrett’s gone.

More famous for taking too much LSD, having a mental breakdown, and leaving Pink Floyd before they went on to become super mega rock stars, Barrett's brief career as a musician was, nevertheless, impressive and inspiring. As a teenager, Syd's music moved me in a way that most music did (and still does) not. Yes, he was "out there" and weird. But, past (or maybe even just ahead of) the cryptic lyrics and psychedelic sounds, I found one of the most vulnerable and raw voices I’d ever heard. Since listening to his recordings in my youth, I’ve come across very few artists that have elicited such an immediate emotional response from me. Among them, Hank Williams, Joao Gilberto, and Syd's contemporary, Nick Drake, come readily to mind. With the weight of emotion and the need for release seemingly impregnating their every breath, these artists laid their hearts on the line in a way few folks can.

As a recording artist some years back, I aspired to replicate the intimacy of Barrett’s “Dark Globe,” an odd little diddy that always made me wonder if Syd actually knew what he was doing all along. It
’s strange to be mourning Barrett’s passing. I've always felt like he left this world a long time ago, mentally placing him among the likes of Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and Nick Drake - other talented stars of his generation that passed from life well before their prime. Syd was different, even in his death, I suppose.

Dark Globe
by Syd Barrett

Oh where are you now
pussy willow that smiled on this leaf?
When I was alone you promised the stone from your heart
my head kissed the ground
I was half the way down, treading the sand
please, please, lift a hand
I'm only a person whose armbands beat on his hands, hang tall
won't you miss me?
Wouldn't you miss me at all?

The poppy birds way
swing twigs coffee brands around
brandish her wand with a feathery tongue
my head kissed the ground
I was half the way down, treading the sand
please, please, please lift the hand
I'm only a person with Eskimo chain
I tattooed my brain all the way...Won't you miss me?
Wouldn't you miss me at all

1 comment:

Emiana said...

I had no idea. I'm glad you wrote this.

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