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Thread: Mary's Eyes

  1. #1
    Hock...hockety-pockety? Joey's Avatar
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    Mary's Eyes



    From Wikipedia:

    A death midwife or death doula is a person who assists in the dying process much like a midwife or doula does with the birthing process. It is "a community centred response that recognizes death as a natural, accepted and honoured part of life. One might say that death midwifery is to hospice palliative care [...] as birth midwifery is to obstetrics." Practitioners "can help create death plans, some provide spiritual care, psychological and social support, and sometimes even physical care. They can help plan home vigils and home funerals, and offer guidance with respect to what your rights and responsibilities are in caring for someone who's died."
    http://deathmidwife.org/
    http://www.deathmidwifery.ca/

    Tori's notes from the tour program on the song:

    numb coming back home to sit at the kitchen table
    a week after Mary's stroke
    having just walked Dad to his car outside the hospital
    he let out a cry of pain
    looked at me in anguish and said
    "baby daughter my heart is breaking"
    it wasn't the time for hugs
    his grief... too raw
    how long we stood there... I can't be sure
    as he opened the car door I said
    "She's in there Dad"
    "Drive safe" he said

    at the kitchen table where she sat more recently
    her eyes dancing
    out of the blue a thought shooting through the room
    a miniature comet of sound
    Neil had sent me a message months before
    from someone who knew someone
    who is a Death Midwife in Scotland
    she wrote a very moving note about helping people
    who are very ill to cross to the other side through singing
    the silent muse is in that comet of sound with a thought
    bang
    but then if one's spirit is on the borders... could they cross back

    the lady in black in the middle of the room calls
    in the dark with very little light
    the Bösendorfer offers rebirth
    From the September The 405 interview:

    Songs are the way that I understand what's really going on -- what I'm either hiding from myself or feeling. And also sometimes with a song -- it's almost like it's already there and just needs to be expressed. If I could express what was going on in any other way, I probably wouldn't write that song. Something strange had happened before all this happened to Mary and changed Mary's life. Somebody got in touch with somebody who then got in touch with Neil Gaiman, who is my spirit brother, and he talked to me about a Death Midwife up in Scotland, who had sent a note about what she does. She helps people to cross to the other side. So I started to think -- well, if you can help them across to the other side, why can't you help cross 'em back?
    Lyrics:

    (I corrected the second "Death Midwife" line in the first verse since she never actually sings "Death Midlife" in the song)


    ___

    As devastating as this song is, I really feel the hope shine through and I think it must have been important to Tori for that to be the song's primary focus; that there is this sense of urgency and determination to bring her mother back.

    I think it's an absolutely gorgeous song (I love the way "Benjamin" bleeds into it) and the perfect closer for the album as it shares so much with "Reindeer King." I'm hard-pressed to think of another set of Tori bookends that compliment each other in such a precise way as those two.

    Anyway, I have nothing but love for this song in spite of the fact that I think it is one of the least immediate things on the album.

  2. #2
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    It is stunning, and I agree about it book-ending with Reindeer King. They have a similar atmosphere and feel, and there's a thematic correlation as well. I like the "Death Midlife" lyric that is printed but not sung; I feel it adds another layer of meaning, considering how she has mentioned how hard the menopause was for her. The "bring her back to life" refers to Mary of course, but also herself. And that's a theme that runs through her more recent work - Mary's Eyes, Reindeer King ("gotta get you back to you"), Oysters ("working my way back to me again"), Weatherman ("can you paint her back to life"). The ideas of rebirth, and lineage.

    Musically, it is just beautiful. I think it strikes just the right tone; it's elegant and emotional, but never strays into schmaltz. It has a dreamlike quality too.

  3. #3
    with joy-of-life her every cry's Avatar
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    I think this is such a gorgeous song and the JP Shenale arrangement is fantastic! Is this the first time she keeps referring to her mother as Mary? I thought before she always said "my mom". Perhaps it's seeing her in such a fragile state that brought this on, it's almost if she now feels she has to be a mother to her mother?
    you have touched my life
    so that now cathedrals of sound are singing

  4. #4
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    After finding it too twee and all over the place at first, I started to like it a bit. But then I went off it again unfortunately. It's a song I WANT to like but it does nothing for me yet. I don't like the joy to the world or I'm a believer parts and there's no pretty melody really apart from the death midwife part. Hoping I will eat my words one day but it still feels like a Disney song crossed with a leftover from Midwinter Graces.

  5. #5
    Senior Member skyscape's Avatar
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    I'm sad that this isn't one of my favourites, but I like the instrumentation

  6. #6
    ancient savageries Andreas's Avatar
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    I think this song is beautiful melody piled on beautiful melody. There are definitely less melodically pretty songs on the album to me.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by WesternLad View Post
    and there's no pretty melody really apart from the death midwife part.
    No pretty melody?! I'm shocked. This whole song is one of the prettiest things she's written in years. I think my favorite melody on the album is the "Sister Despair, can you bring the Dream King to me?" section. It's such a different, warm type of sound for her melodic writing, and it's so lovely. I know everyone likes Tori to be haunting and sad and minor-key, but she's quite good at writing this type of thing (as this song and the Light Princess illustrate).

  8. #8
    Senior Member hermes's Avatar
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    This song so hit home after seeing my father at the hospital. I get it now, oh boy... the way she worked with that energy to create this piece of music is unfathomably genius.
    Last edited by hermes; 09-11-2017 at 06:24 PM.

  9. #9
    Robbing the muse... Beelust's Avatar
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    This is probably my 2nd favourite on the album after Reindeer King (or perhaps they are tied). Intense and achingly beautiful.

    I find it interesting that on Benjamin just before the song she sings:
    Thread of life
    Measured quick
    Spin then
    Snip

    She is working out how to deal with her mom being gone throughout the record, and as we can see in the live shows. It is really beautiful that she is sharing this incredibly personal moment with us.
    Last edited by Beelust; 09-11-2017 at 07:52 PM.
    Robbing the muse...

  10. #10
    ...Under The Ivy Littlegreen's Avatar
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    It must have been so hard for her to record, I have so much respect and love for her that she allowed us to hear this.
    They say you were something in those formative years...

  11. #11
    Senior Member northern_lad's Avatar
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    Today this song clicked and when I read about the Dead Midwife even more... So sad

  12. #12
    Hock...hockety-pockety? Joey's Avatar
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    @Kari mentioned on Facebook that the song doesn't really have any kind of resolution, which is precisely the point, and that punched me in the gut. I still hear hope in the song, but what else can you do when you're forced into having to find a way to mourn someone who is still there in a way, you know? Ugh.

  13. #13
    Robbing the muse... Beelust's Avatar
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    ^ it even ends with "Mary..." in an uncertain, questioning tone.
    Robbing the muse...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by northern_lad View Post
    Today this song clicked and when I read about the Dead Midwife even more... So sad
    Not to be picky but it's the Death Midwife. Big difference to a dead midwife.

  15. #15
    Militia of the Mind toriMODE's Avatar
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    LOL

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