Friday, April 16, 2010

Favorite Album, Age 5

Have you ever checked out Pitchfork's 5-10-15-20 series? They pick a musician and ask them to share their favorite albums at five-year intervals in their lives. I found it funny that anyone could have a favorite album at the age of 5... and then I remembered mine.

David Bowie, David Bowie
My mom was, and still is, a huge Bowie fan. To this day I cannot figure out why she played this in my presence. I had a morbid kind of attraction to being scared, and this album was frightening.

I remember one rainy/thunderstormy day my mom and I were at home -- I guess my dad was at work -- and she was doing her spring cleaning. I asked her to put this album on, and she did.

It was really storming outside, and we had lamps on in the living room. She opened up the record player's amber plastic lid, carefully set the record on its spike, and dropped the arm into place.

She handed me the album dustjacket and let me look at it while she went back to cleaning. There were drawings in it, like the one at right, for each of the album's tracks. And ahh, that smell... the smell of hot vinyl. There's nothing like it.

Listen to Please, Mr. Gravedigger – on vinyl – and tell me it’s not terrifying. I mean, take a look at these lyrics:

There's a little churchyard just along the way
It used to be Lambeth's finest array
Of tombstones, epitaphs, wreaths, flowers all that jazz
Till the war came along and someone dropped a bomb on the lot

And in this little yard, there's a little old man
With a little shovel in his little bitty hand
He seems to spend all his days puffing fags and digging graves
He hates the reverend vicar and he lives all alone in his home
Ah-choo! excuse me

Please Mr. Gravedigger, don't feel ashamed
As you dig little holes for the dead and the maimed
Please Mr. Gravedigger, I couldn't care
If you found a golden locket full of some girl's hair
And you put it in your pocket

God, it's pouring down

Her mother doesn't know about your sentimental joy
She thinks it's down below with the rest of her toys
And Ma wouldn't understand, so I won't tell
So keep your golden locket all safely hid away in your pocket

Yes, Mr. GD, you see me every day,
St ....ah choo!
Standing in the same spot by a certain grave
Mary-Ann was only 10, full of life and oh so gay
And I was the wicked man who took her life away
Very selfish, Oh God

No, Mr. GD, you won't tell
And just to make sure that you keep it to yourself
I've started digging holes my friend
And this one here's for you

Lifted our girl, she apparently doesn't know of it
Hello misses, thought she'd be a little girl
Bloody obscene, catch pneumonia or something in this rain

1 comment:

  1. I sort of had a thing for David Bowie when I was in elementary school too, especially when he was in the Labrynth.