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Thread: SOTW: Colleen

  1. #1
    Let them eat cake! Yuki's Avatar
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    SOTW: Colleen

    Ok, so, a few things before I dive (heh heh, see wot I did thar?) into this song.

    1. This was the first Joanna song I ever heard, way back in like 2007 or something.

    2. Ebby’s interpretation back on @ was really instrumental in my own understanding of the song, so, thanks for that Ebby! Some of these ideas are heavily influenced by yours, and some are probably just plain old yours that I forgot were yours and started thinking were mine.

    3. This is going to be super tl;dr, so I’ve spoilered it. Warning: I get super nerdy and start talking about imagery.

    Allons-y!



    Also, this might not be appropriate to post here, but I needed to say it anyhow: if you are going to appropriate Irish myths in order to create a modern fairytale song-cycle whatever, THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT!!!

  2. #2
    Let them eat cake! Yuki's Avatar
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    I just realized that this will be the last SOTW in a while, unless somebody picks up the thread after me.

  3. #3
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
    Also, this might not be appropriate to post here, but I needed to say it anyhow: if you are going to appropriate Irish myths in order to create a modern fairytale song-cycle whatever, THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT!!!


    Hahahaha! ABSOLUTELY AGREED.

    She takes folklore and folk music that has a very long history, and reworks it into something that that works within her musical language and retells the story in a very fresh way that feels at once modern and ancient. It's one of her finest songs.

    There's a movie that centers around selkie folklore too: "the secret of roan inis"

  4. #4
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    Wow, you covered everything so perfectly.

    My favourite stanza is this one:

    And I hate the sight of that empty air
    Like stepping for a missing stair
    And falling forth forever blindly:
    Cannot grab hold of anything!
    No, not I, most blessed among Colleens


    It's amazing how well she captures the sense of literally being a fish out of water. 'Empty air / Like stepping for a missing stair' - the dry air is isolating in its emptiness and unsettling in its lack of support, and her movement through it is too rapid and uncontrolled, like 'falling forth'. It really builds a sense that there is something missing - the 'empty air', 'missing stair', there being nothing to grab hold of - something to be found and enveloped by.

    This song is basically the sixth Ys song. All the unifying themes are here - transformation, decadence, death, an excess of water, and a sense of fable and legend. I guess the style (and the instrumentation it perhaps requires) is maybe too different for it to have been put on the album initially, but it definitely seems like a song she wrote in the spirit of the record. As for alternate readings, you could definitely do a very convincing feminist reading of the song, but I prefer the idea that it's less an outright rejection of femininity and more a general rejection of social repression

    Also every time she yelps a fairy is born.

  5. #5
    strike every chord that you feel Owen's Avatar
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    This was the song that sealed the deal for me. The lyrics are a masterwork, the music is incredibly composed and the players on the track... it's ridiculous how truly GREAT this song is.

  6. #6
    fights battles for no one Nora's Avatar
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    Colleen is one of my favorites of Joanna's; it's the first song of hers I heard, and is the song that made me a fan. It is brilliant. My favorite moments are the the lines "He-Who-Easily-Can-Curve-Himself-Against-The-Sky. / And I am without words," and the corset confrontation - definitely haunting. Nice write up Yuki

    Quote Originally Posted by ebby View Post

    There's a movie that centers around selkie folklore too: "the secret of roan inis"
    I loved this movie! I'd forgotten all about it.

  7. #7
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    Is there a definitive performance of this song? I've been searching and I can't seem to find one that presents the song well enough

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