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Thread: Bats

  1. #1
    impeccable armadillo May H's Avatar
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    Bats

    This song has, for me, surpassed Wildwood as the song I'm currently most obsessed about, so I needed a thread about it!

    If you see three candles in the window
    Been expecting you, Undine of the Sea
    The Kindly Ones are here with me
    Undine of the Sea, keep breathing girl

    Got a bat visiting
    On a break from teaching
    At William and Mary
    You've asked his expertise
    About the deal the ancient
    Sea maids made with humanity

    Warning "The most precious thing
    That we'll fight to save
    The fate of our waves
    With her blue satin crashing"

    If you see three candles in the window
    Been expecting you, Undine of the Sea
    The Kindly Ones are here with me
    Undine of the Sea, keep breathing girl

    You say the bats are wise
    And once had prophesied
    What fate... if betrayed by human kind
    Yes dripped in mist sisters rise
    Quietly from the fens and marshes
    All for the love of our dearest friend
    It now begins

    If you see three candles in the window
    Been expecting you, Undine of the Sea
    The Kindly Ones are here with me
    Undine of the Sea
    The Kindly Ones are here with me
    Undine of the Sea
    Undine of the Sea
    Undine of the Sea, keep breathing girl
    The Kindly Ones is an euphemistic name for the Furies, the three Ancient Greek deities of revenge. They were, specifically, in charge of punishing people who swore false oaths.
    The Kindly Ones is also the title of one of the Sandman books by Neil Gaiman, featuring the Furies and their wrath.

    Undine is a name first used by Paracelsus for water elemental beings. It's now used for a wide variety of mythological water spirits, including mermaids, but more usually for spirits of land waters - that may be the reason Tori is specifying that she's calling the "Undine of the Sea."

    I understand this song as much darker than the prettiness of the tune and the gentle voice Tori is using would suggest. Humanity has broken an ancient contract with the water spirits by damaging the sea by pollution and climate change. The narrator of the song is arranging a secret meeting between the Undine of the Sea (the most powerful water spirit), a scientist who knows the exact details of the contract and the way it was breached (Benjamin?) and the three Furies. The three candles are a signal - the three Furies are here, the meeting can begin.
    The narrator, although human, is on the side of the Undines - she is calling for the spirits of land waters to rise, join the Undine of the Sea, reconnect with their righteous anger in the form of the Furies, and wreak their revenge on humankind.

    Thoughts? and for those who have read Neil Gaiman's The Kindly Ones, can you spot any further connection to this song?
    Black Diamond finally confessed

  2. #2
    See that sweet Jesus! silver's Avatar
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    It keeps getting stuck in my head!


  3. #3
    with joy-of-life her every cry's Avatar
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    I'm still at a loss why Tori uses the term bat, does it derive from an acronym for a knowledged person or something like that? Or does it have roots in mythology? I haven't been able to find anything plausible.
    you have touched my life
    so that now cathedrals of sound are singing

  4. #4
    den mother tart's Avatar
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    i really really love this one.
    the layers of voice and piano, the kind of island-y ocean feel -- the chorus is one of my favorite things i've ever heard from her.
    it's just magical.

  5. #5
    Butts. soignee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by her every cry View Post
    I'm still at a loss why Tori uses the term bat, does it derive from an acronym for a knowledged person or something like that? Or does it have roots in mythology? I haven't been able to find anything plausible.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minyades

    When the cult of the god Dionysus started spreading in Greece, all followers would get drunk and revel in the mountains and forests. However, the Minyads did not follow these practices, but instead continued their quiet lives at home. Dionysus got furious at this disregard of his ways, and transformed the three sisters into bats.

    According to another version of the myth, the god appeared in front of them and asked them to follow his customs; when the sisters refused, he transformed himself into a bull, then a lion and finally a panther, and the Minyads were driven insane. They then wanted to honour the god; Leucippe was told to make a sacrifice, and she willingly proposed her son Hippasus. The three women tore him to pieces, then left the house and ran in the mountains in a state of frenzy. In the end, the god Hermes felt pity for them and transformed them into bats.

  6. #6
    with joy-of-life her every cry's Avatar
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    Aha! Thank you so much!
    you have touched my life
    so that now cathedrals of sound are singing

  7. #7
    Senior Member Paul.'s Avatar
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    I love the album. Bats was the song that snuck up on me. Bats and Wings. Now, I am obsessed with Bats. I started repeating it on the way home last night from work.

  8. #8
    impeccable armadillo May H's Avatar
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    I'm not sure the Greek mythology explanation for bats would completely apply in this case, because both in this song and in Benjamin she calls a scientist a bat. It's almost as if "bats" was a collective term for scientists and prophets?
    Black Diamond finally confessed

  9. #9
    with joy-of-life her every cry's Avatar
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    I take from it they must be the quiet insubordinate types?
    you have touched my life
    so that now cathedrals of sound are singing

  10. #10
    Hock...hockety-pockety? Joey's Avatar
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    Watery, witchy, and wonderful. This song really sneaks up on you and it's been in my head all morning.

  11. #11
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    This was an immediate favourite. It's so sensual.

  12. #12
    A Midspring's Nightmare Rabih's Avatar
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    In love with this song. I have it in my head all the time. I can see why Menju stated somewhere that it can easily feel underrated as it does not jump at you the way, say, Bang or Wildwood do, but this is such a guilty pleasure. It reminded me instantly of Concertina with dashes of Bug a Martini. It's so sensual and all the layers shine on headphones. Love it!

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    the word "bats" in the context of the lyrics is keeping me from enjoying both Bats and Benjamin. It's a huge stumbling block for me. I just don't get it at all.

  14. #14
    Senior Member skyscape's Avatar
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    I can't get into this one. I can't remember the melody no matter how many times I listen. It's still a decent track but further down the list for me.

  15. #15
    Robbing the muse... Beelust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitLuvr View Post
    the word "bats" in the context of the lyrics is keeping me from enjoying both Bats and Benjamin. It's a huge stumbling block for me. I just don't get it at all.
    Bats have the ability to see in the dark - they are very intelligent creatures. Tori refers to scientists / knowledge as bats... in this dark time when data / REAL facts / science are being hidden. e.g. denial of climate change and conservative governments silencing research. Scientists / knowledge need to keep working at night in the dark where no one can see - but they are still there and very important (just like bats being integral - they eat many insects). The night / dark also fits with the hidden underwater / dark themes.
    Last edited by Beelust; 09-10-2017 at 10:47 PM.
    Robbing the muse...

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