In recent times I’ve become slightly obsessed with Lilly Wood and the Prick. Well, to be more truthful, the single song “Prayer in C”, which, despite being around five years old, was rediscovered by Robin Schultz. He remixed it, without permission from the original duo of Nili Hadida and Benjamin Cotto (which one is ‘Lilly Wood’ and which one is ‘The Prick’?), and it got the airplay that took it to number one around the world, including across the UK.
My obsession has included the special and memorably wonderful moment of sitting in the carpark of a drive thru Costa, with both my lovely partner and I finding versions of the song on Youtube, playing them at each other, and then trying to run them ‘in sync’ to provide a crazy echo. Yep, we need to get out (of the car) more.
So, apart from it being quite a stand alone haunting tune, which if you hear the instrumental version, you know forces a good bit of a hum-a-long, the voice and the lyrics are quite mystical.
My personal preferences, as you will notice from my list of my last 10 earworms on the side panel of christopherengland.com, are for instrumental tunage. I’ve liked instrumental tunage forever from back in the days of discovering Pink Floyd before they stopped making music and started writing songs. My journey with instrumentals brought me through the ages and up to the likes of Watermät and Ten Walls today.
In other words, I rarely like ‘songs’ and lyrics and all that vocal stuff.
But back to this Prayer in C. The lyrics are, well, weird. Odd.
Brilliantly, they have created much discussion and debate around t’internet. “What do the lyrics mean?”
Depending on the prejudices of the ‘thinker’, the ‘thoughts’ range from it all being an unanswered prayer to a god, through to being an angry love song.
Lyrics that cause debate and discussion are good lyrics. And these lyrics are written by the duo themselves, and sung by Nili. Now, Benjamin is from Paris, France, where the two are based, whilst Nili was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, then lived in England and California before settling in Paris, France. Does this interesting heritage help explain the lyrics, maybe? Does it add weight to the convenient theory of the song being an apology for the constant Israeli attacks on Palestine? (Probably not!)
Adding to the globalistic nature of this song, the remix was by Robin Schultz, a German. Granted, he wasn’t involved in writing it, but maybe that’s what makes it all work. It, like most modern music, is a nomadic hybrid not fixed to one culture.
But, I’m getting away from the head scratching about the original lyrics. What are they all about, and who are they spoken / sung to?
Ya, you never said a word
You didn’t send me no letter
Don’t think I could forgive you
See, our world is slowly dying
I’m not wasting no more time
Don’t think I could believe you
Ya, our hands will get more wrinkled
And our hair, it will be grey
Don’t think I could forgive you
And see the children are starving
And their houses were destroyed
Don’t think they could forgive you
Hey, when seas will cover lands
And when men will be no more
Don’t think you can forgive you
Yeah, when there’ll just be silence
And when life will be over
Don’t think you will forgive you
It’s interesting that I should come across this article, written by you of all people. You see, this track has a significance for me too, though it is not related to the lyrics, which I have only recently started to wonder about.
At one point during this summer just gone, a significant life change happened to me, resulting from a tragedy befalling another person (details of which I don’t propose to go into here).
But suddenly, so suddenly that it happened in the blink of an eye, I found myself waking up one Saturday morning in a very different life, in a new location many miles from where I been living before, in a new domestic relationship, and without a close friend and business colleague who had been a big part of my life in recent years. 24 hours previously I had no clue that I was about to relocate from city to country, no idea that a wonderful friendship and business relationship was about to to vanish due to a very unexpected death, or that as a consequency of my being immediatly taken in and looked after by my new and hugely kind-hearted partner, this would be my last morning waking up alone.
So I woke up that Saturday morning, still in the sort of haze of unreality that shock usually brings, and as my partner’s clock-alarm radio came on, the very first thing that I heard was this very distinctive song, which I had never heard before.
And (as is the way with radio) it was then played every single morning on the show we would wake up to, so much so that it somehow melded itself in my mind with that hazy, unreal week when the entire world had shifted under my feet and I was trying to adjust to the new reality, get through the funeral and the need to rehome the 12 animals that my friend had left in my care, and orient myself to the fact that I was now living in a county that I had barely even visited over the years.
Of course, radio being what it is, the song is STILL played almost every morning on that station, and now evokes a sort of split response from me – a momentary sense of the fear and disorientation and sadness I felt when I first heard it, along with a sort of gratitude that this was the piece of music that acted as my introduction to a new living situation which has turned out to be wonderfully enriching and very good for me in many ways.
And that before I even THINK about the lyrics . . .
As always Chris . . I suspect you have a bug planted somewhere in my mind, or at least, close to my bedroom.
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