Fear not, I am back, sorry to people who regularly check this blog, I've been staying with friends and family all week, I'm going to actually blitz what should have been blogged in the week today, so today you get 5 days at the speed of 1, you lucky people.
Dan Lewis, long time reader, regular correspondent, has requested the arrestingly dark Disney's Dream Debased today, so here goes. That previous sentence reminds me of Harry Hill's old letters section on his first show, where every week he'd read out a letter from 'regular viewer, Bunty Hoven', anyway, back to the task in hand!
Song: Disney's Dream Debased
Album: The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall
So Dan has a motive for asking for this song, but it's a wholly admirable one, he's taken the lyrics of this particular song (good one to pick) and has written a short story based on them, which appears in a collection he helped edit into a book, Dan's story appears in this book.
Check it out if you can, he sent me the original and it's spot on, captures the harrowing subject matter quite well, but from another angle.
So what about the subject matter? Well I don't know about the rest of you, but I always found Disney to be a bit strange anyway, talking animals and hackneyed morals always creeped me out, for a young boy bought up on Thundercats and Dr Who, to find a massive surge in the 90s for all-singing, all-dancing films based on fairytales was a bit off-putting. The Lion King is still good though. Anyway, for those that don't know the story, the lyrics here are based on a real life event that happened in January 1984 at Disneyland, a 43 -year-old woman died on the Matterhorn attraction, which was a bobsled ride based on a mountain range-style structure. At the height of the ride, she was thrown from the sled and was pinned under another sled's wheels becoming mangled under the wheels. She died from severe injuries to her head and chest, not nice. What attracted MES to write about this is probably the direct gulf between how Disney portrays itself, a magical, happy place and this, a hammer-horror style death that you cannot imagine even happening.
I just read up on some more history of deaths at Disneyland and the first ever death was quite similar, though the person who died was a young man who defied safety regulations and stood up on the top of the same ride, but fell to tracks below. Other deaths include drowning in the Rivers Of America section of the park, deaths on the monorail that runs around the park and a horrific freak accident a few years ago where a boat's moorings snapped loose and hit two guests on the head, killing one and injuring another. I suppose its par for the course with a place that large and so busy, but its still disturbing.
So the lyrics and song are quite well-thought out, the music is actually quite upbeat and jolly in the overly sickly-sweet tones that Disney employ, but the lyrics are delivered in a lilting singing voice, which makes it, again, quite disturbing. The way he actually sings this reminds me of the Half Man Half Biscuit song All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit, in the way syllables are packed in like sardines, but as a result have some added comic effect.
Lyrics obviously focus on the accident and a weirdly serene sense of calm, lines like 'blood on the ground/blood on the sand' and 'The nurses climbed up' paint a macabre picture that works really well with the minor chords and sharp guitar sound and again, the vocals are produced in such a way as to sound effected, here they sound a little flat and distant, but that's the great thing about Fall albums, the way in which Mark's vocals are recorded makes a difference every time, he can he tinny, muffled, overly loud or indecipherable (most times) but always effective with the bunch of songs recorded.
I like the use of very British phrases to describe an American tragedy 'No two ways about it' and 'No maybe about it' sound at odds with the situation, really clever.
I'd like to think this is a touching tribute to a tragedy, but I know in reality it isn't, it was probably too much of a temptation to write about for MES, but with a company as cheery as Disney and an accident this unreal, there can't have been much doubt in his mind, perfect Fall song material.
I'll be writing the next four songs this evening, cheers!
What started out as a daily blog is no longer sustainable within a life so filled with activity, This is now an experiment, a blog I will update every Tuesday and Saturday. Within this endless digital blurb I will be listening to, commenting on and then discussing tracks by The Fall, two Fall songs a week will last me years and years. Let the madness begin. Just hope I don't lose my mind. Feel free to abuse me on email@example.com
Saturday, 21 May 2011
Day 64: Dark Disney, not Fantasia...
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