soundwalk collective, jesse paris smith & patti smith – fearfully in danger (2016)

Fearfully in Danger” (Live at Volksbühne, Berlin) from the album Killer Road – A Tribute To Nico, released in 2016 on Sacred Bones Records. Directed and edited by Barbara Klein.
Killer Road is a sound exploration of the tragic death of Nico, Velvet Underground vocalist and 60s icon, while riding her bike on the island of Ibiza in the summer of 1988. A hypnotic meditation on the idea of perpetual motion and the cycle of life and death, the composition features Patti Smith lending her unique voice to the last poems written by the artist. Soundwalk Collective uses a travel log of field recordings and samples of Nico’s signature instrument, the harmonium, to create a magnetic soundscape.

patti smith – kimberly (1975)

Patti Smith and her sister Kimberly, 1962. (Photo posted on Facebook by Kimberly.)

The wall is high, the black barn,
The babe in my arms in her swaddling clothes
And I know soon that the sky will split
And the planets will shift,
Balls of jade will drop and existence will stop.
Little sister, the sky is falling, I don’t mind, I don’t mind.
Little sister, the fates are calling on you.

Ah, here I stand again in this old ‘lectric whirlwind,
The sea rushes up my knees like flame
And I feel like just some misplaced Joan Of Arc
And the cause is you lookin’ up at me.
Oh baby, I remember when you were born,
It was dawn and the storm settled in my belly
And I rolled in the grass and I spit out the gas
And I lit a match and the void went flash
And the sky split and the planets hit,
Balls of jade dropped and existence stopped, stopped, stop, stop.
Little sister, the sky is falling, I don’t mind, I don’t mind.
Little sister, the fates are calling on you.

I was young ‘n crazy, so crazy I knew I could break through with you,
So with one hand I rocked you and with one heart I reached for you.
Ah, I knew your youth was for the takin’, fire on a mental plane,
So I ran through the fields as the bats with their baby vein faces
Burst from the barn and flames in a violent violet sky,
And I fell on my knees and pressed you against me.
Your soul was like a network of spittle,
Like glass balls movin’ in like cold streams of logic,
And I prayed as the lightning attacked
That something will make it go crack, something will make it go crack,
Something will make it go crack, something will make it go crack.

The palm trees fall into the sea,
It doesn’t matter much to me
As long as you’re safe, Kimberly.
And I can gaze deep
Into your starry eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby,
Looking deep in your eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby,
Into your starry eyes, oh.

Oh, in your starry eyes, baby,
Looking deep in your eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby, oh.

Oh, looking deep in your eyes, baby,
Into your starry eyes, baby, looking deep in your eyes, baby…


Simon Reynolds in a fascinating discussion with Patti Smith of her Horses album here.