Sunday, October 16, 2011

1983 ... A Merman I Shall Be: Issa's Sunday Service, #123

US Album Cover: Electric Ladyland

While walking to work on Friday and thinking about the day's post (with the identify this picture quiz - answer Jimi Hendrix), it suddenly occurred to me that I had overlooked  one of the great rock epic songs, which is in turn part of one of the finest concept album sides (in my opinion, the finest - yeah, bring 'em on, the Beatles, the Who, Decemberists, Yes, Flaming Lips etc., I'm standing pat), that happens to make a most definitive illusion to a great work of literature: "1983 ... A Merman I Shall Be" by the incomparable Mr. H.

Included in the above widget are the 2 songs that song "1983," comprising side 3 of the two album set. The set opens with "Rainy Day, Dream Away," which sets the story of spliff induced rainy day reverie which one critic described as a psychedelic suite.  I'd call it a mini rock opera, centered around a sci/fi like tale of two people who, as the final apocalyptic war rages, go down to the sea having been transformed by their machine to return from where the human race emerged.  The music matches the theme, mock epic in style, with a beautiful melody.  Moving on to the next side after the "Moon, Turn the Tides ... Gently, Gently Away," the listener and narrator simultaneously continue the reverie and begin to come out of a long excursion into a mythic alternative to Mr. Orwell's "1984.

UK Album Cover: Electric Ladyland

Today's featured archive poem comes from Lilliput Review #65, February 1995.  Enjoy.                      

           Bird Haiku #14
Wings extended across the ground
a dead sparrow
flies into eternity.
              David Rhine

grafting a branch--
I might be dead
translated by David G. Lanoue


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 123 songs


Charles Gramlich said...

As much as they are at times maligned, the Eagles told some pretty literate stories in their music.

bandit said...

I pulled Electric Ladyland out after Friday's post. My favorite J.H. album, depending on the mood.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Charles, I'll have to look into that for a future post. Somehow I hadn't thought of them.


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Bandit: Ah, yes, this is one for the age ... Don

Jim H. said...

The name of Jimi's Band -- The Experience -- has a Zen ring to it.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Almost 40 years since I went into my best friend's basement, he put that first Experience disc on the turntable and the world changed forever and I never thought about what you just said.

The world just keep changing.

Amazing experience, indeed.