Danse Macabre

Danse Macabre from ‘A Coat Worth Wearing’ by Neil McSweeney

 

In my creative thinking I’ve always tended toward a reductivist approach. That’s part of my explanation for why song-writing appeals to me – though it could, of course, just as well be that the practice of searching for a satisfying lyric has been the cause and not the effect. Anyhow, A Coat Worth Wearing is an effort to push back against habit by attempting something with emergent properties.

It’s not a concept record – there isn’t one central theme that I can reveal or easily explain – but each of the songs is intended to contribute to a sense of a more complex whole. None of them, standing alone, gets a point across that I would wholly accept or agree with. But together, they represent a sense of the world with which I identify deeply.

We’ve reached the halfway point in this blog series – this being the fifth of nine tracks. I’m not going to offer any discussion of the lyric for Danse Macabre. Anything it can say, it can say alone. I was obsessed when I wrote it with the wolf and what it can represent. The chorus arrived in a single, fluent movement and then the verses required thought. The recording relies on the good taste of the piano player for its space and energy. The simple guitar break in the middle was one of the very few overdubs I laid down and the last thing I recorded for the album.

 

Danse Macabre

The wolf is
In the kitchen
Helping himself to all
Your possessions and
All of your
Wealth

Leave one
Alive and the wolf will
Win. Leave none
Alive and
You are
Him

The wolf is
In the library
Pleasing himself
All your ambition
Swept from the
Shelves

Leave one
Alive and the wolf will
Win. Leave none
Alive and
You are
Him

The wolf is
At your chamber
Preparing himself there
Is no resistance there
Is nothing
Left

Leave one
Alive and the wolf will
Win. Leave none
Alive and
You are
Him

The wolf is
In the basement
Hanging his
Head

wolf-photo

 

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