gently down the stream…

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” – Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

ani difranco – your next bold move (2001)

coming of age during the plague
of reagan and bush
watching capitalism gun down democracy
it had this funny effect on me
i guess

i am cancer
i am HIV
and i’m down at the blue jesus
blue cross hospital
just lookin’ up from my pillow
feeling blessed

and the mighty multinationals
have monopolized the oxygen
so it’s as easy as breathing
for us all to participate

yes they’re buying and selling
off shares of air
and you know it’s all around you
but it’s hard to point and say “there”
so you just sit on your hands
and quietly contemplate

your next bold move
the next thing you’re gonna need to prove
to yourself

what a waste of thumbs that are opposable
to make machines that are disposable
and sell them to seagulls flying in circles
around one big right wing

yes, the left wing was broken long ago
by the slingshot of cointelpro
and now it’s so hard to have faith in
anything

especially your next bold move
or the next thing you’re gonna need to prove
to yourself

you want to track each trickle
back to its source
and then scream up the faucet
’til your face is hoarse
cuz you’re surrounded by a world’s worth
of things you just can’t excuse

but you’ve got the hard cough of a chain smoker
and you’re at the arctic circle playing strip poker
and it’s getting colder and colder
everytime you lose

so go ahead
make your next bold move
tell us
what’s the next thing you’re gonna need to prove
to yourself

mccarthy – red sleeping beauty (1986)

McCarthy were a British indie pop band, formed in Barking, Essex, England in 1984 by schoolmates Malcolm Eden (voice and guitar) and Tim Gane (lead guitar) with John Williamson (bass guitar) and Gary Baker (drums). Lætitia Sadier would later join the band on vocals on their third studio album Banking, Violence and the Inner Life Today.

They mixed a sweetly melodic style, dominated by Gane’s 12-string guitar playing, with Eden’s overtly political lyrics, often satirical in tone, which reflected the band’s far left leanings.

Eden, Gane and Williamson met at Barking Abbey Comprehensive School. Gane was originally a drummer, but was initially taught to play guitar by Eden, who also taught Williamson the basics of bass. Eden and Gane were fans of punk groups such as the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Buzzcocks, and they covered their songs in small gigs as teenagers. Baker joined in 1984, and with the new line-up deciding on the name McCarthy (a tongue-in-cheek reference to American politician Joe McCarthy), they released a self-financed first single, “In Purgatory” in 1985. The band were signed by the Pink Label, releasing two further singles “Red Sleeping Beauty” and “Frans Hals”. The band had a track included on the NME C86 album (“Celestial City”).

Their debut album I Am a Wallet was released in 1987. The album was virtually ignored by UK radio programmers, except for BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel. Because of Eden’s Marxist political views, the band were, to their dismay, often lumped in with other left-wing acts like Billy Bragg and The Redskins. I Am a Wallet has since been described by Nicky Wire as “the most perfect record, a Communist manifesto with tunes”, and was rated by James Dean Bradfield as his top British album of all time.

Two further singles appeared in early 1988 and were followed by a second album, The Enraged Will Inherit the Earth, which was considerably less well received.

A year later, they released a third album Banking, Violence and the Inner Life Today, on which they were joined by Gane’s girlfriend Lætitia Sadier on vocals. The album suggested a new willingness to experiment musically, and was seen by critics as something of a return to form, but it in fact proved to be their swansong and they split soon afterwards. Eden felt there was no need to continue with the band, believing that their creativity peaked with that LP. The band’s final gig was at the London School of Economics in 1990.

The band twice had songs in John Peel’s Festive Fifty: “Frans Hals” in 1987 (#35), and “Should the Bible Be Banned” in 1988 (#38).

Gane and Sadier went on to form Stereolab, while Eden formed the short-lived Herzfeld.  Baker went on to a career in radiography, before going on to work for The Guardian.  Williamson went on to work for music publisher BMG and Domino Records.

http://cherryred.co.uk/