Thursday, July 06, 2006
Radio Refreshments #5.
Off the dome, I can only name four James songs, all of which I heard on the radio constantly growing up. "Laid." "Say Something." "Born Of Frustration." And, of course, "Sit Down," our focus on this Thursday's return to form for Radio Refreshments.
James - Sit Down (sendspace link)
With the help of typical trusty online research, I offer you some interesting trivia: James's frontman Tim Booth wrote the song in homage to two women who greatly inspired him: Patti Smith, and an author by the name of Doris Lessing.
It's actually kind of interesting to see what kind of impact such strongly feminist writers had on Booth. Smith, for example. Quote: "The first time I heard 'Horses', I was a 17-year old English public schoolboy. That evening I was told that my father was dying and might not make it through the night. Unable to sleep, I sneaked through the dark corridors, past the prefects, and into my study. The first words I heard through the headphones were:
"His father died
and left him alone on the New England farm.
All the black funeral cars left the scene
and the boy was left standing there.
It was if someone had spread
butter on all the fine points of the stars
cos when he looked up they started to slip ..."
Needless to say, Patti Smith had a profound impact on Tim's writing and clearly it shows in "Sit Down", dripping with the archetypal loss of innocence. Another quote: "Sit Down is about me feeling so alone in my 20s and reading books by a writer called Doris Lessing which made me realise I wasn't. It was about being awake at 4am and having no-one to talk to."
Interestingly enough, one of Lessing's most well-known novels, The Golden Notebook, is the namesake to the token bookstore in my hometown. It all connects somehow, doesn't it?
It would make sense at this time to post the lyrics to this song, but instead, I'll let you listen. Honestly, I feel the lyrics are just great, even disregarding the back story entirely. With the back story, however, I would suspect that a new level of depth has surfaced. SO NOW YOU KNOW!