Monday, June 9, 2014

1000 SONGS - DAY 318 SONG # 349

DAY 318: A Song from Cleveland about a Great Poetress

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was an American poetress, of German descent. Her father was German (a university professor of biology) and her mother was an Austrian, about 20 years younger than Sylvia's father. Sylvia is thought to have writtten extremely marvellous poems and she has also written a novel called  "The Bell Jar" starting with an allusion to the Rosenbergs. Sylvia Plath was married to a British poet by the name of Hughes, and they had two children, and although they were not divorced they seem to have been somewhat of separated at the time of her death. She had some mental problems before, and finally she committed suicide by putting on the gas and putting her head in the oven somewhere in London. She carefully took measures that her children would not be harmed by her suicide (not incidentally killed by the gas). Her son Nicholas became a famous biologist (for the fish) and hanged himself in 2009. Her daughter Frieda is an artist. I own an album by Death of Samantha (a band from Cleveland, Ohio), on which is featured a song called the "Rosenberg Summer", starting with the question: "Everlasting summer - did you kill the Rosenbergs?". Should ye not know, who the Rosenbergs have been and what their fate has been, click here: Rosenbergs. Death of Samantha also did a very beautiful cover-version of a song written by Cleveland's  short-lived (due to drug and alcohol abuse) musician Peter Laughner - a guy influential to seminal bands like Pere Ubu - called "Sylvia Plath" - a poetic rendering of the fate of the poetress. Here it is, the version by Death of Samantha, followed by the original take by Peter Laughner (he did never officially record it, it was only featured on a posthumous release of his tapes). And, for the sake of breaking it down - from the point of view of someone blogging about music telling a story about some guys who did a cover version of a song written by a guy about a woman writing poetry, I do feature Sylvia Plath's voice here, too.

Sylvia Plath
Was never too good at math
But they tell me that she finished
At the height of her class
And when she lost her virginity
She didn't lose it too fast
They couldn't hold any dress rehearsals for
Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath
Came into Manhattan
She had crawled out of one
Cocoon where there was absolutely
Nothin happening
And if I'm gonna be classless and crass
I'm gonna break up some glass
Nobody broke anything sharper than
Sylvia Plath

There's no romance and excuses
There's just the dance in the aftermath
And when you check out of this hotel jack
You're nothin but an autograph
The desk clerk wakes her at seven
And he tosses it out with the trash
But he'll keep around a couple of letters
Return addressed to
Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath
Woke up and turned on the gas
Then she put her head down and completely
Forgot about lighting a match

The rest of the details
Are just too boring to attach
Yeah, Let's see you do one thing as graceful as
Sylvia Plath
Yeah, Let's see you do one thing as graceful as
Sylvia Plath
Yeah, let's see you do one thing as senselessly cruel as
Sylvia Plath

No comments:

Post a Comment