Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hope and Change: Garden of Eden

Donna The Buffalo: Garden of Eden


The old testament concept of the Garden of Eden is a subtheme in and of itself; as western culture's prototypical Utopia, it is called to throughout the musical and literate world as a concrete symbol of hope and change. Where so many others frame it as a paradise lost and/or unobtainable, however, it is a much rarer song which manages to truly approach Eden as an attainable without losing sight of the realities of history and society.

Which makes it a perfect metaphor for the southern zydeco funkfusion jamband collaborative Donna The Buffalo, whose songs generally revolve around their own particular brand of spiritual and political consciousness. Lyrics, please:

If we could each reach out and grasp a piece of the torn
Hopes and aspirations of the whole that makes us one
With a concept of together born
Of four smiles and three tears

Further dampened with the sweat from the work that it will take
Poured into the arts and letters voice it for the better
We're searching for what you may have found
Raise it up and come on down

With a free willed brain and a heart attuned to the love
I am heading back to the end of the beginning
Shadows linger coughing. Clanging
Obstinate shades, clinging to so much dust
Venture out to obscure the direction
Voices soaked with longing for Armageddon
Asked the children where [are] you leading
Back to the garden of Eden

Evil beat, masses drum, marching tones, everyone
Consciousness from gray to stark, audience to a talking shark
I laid awake, babies slept
Babble laughed, Jesus wept

The truth emerged but was quickly lost in trumpet blasts of chaos
Which left only an inner voice that knows the truth is not a choice
What really was obscured somehow
Raise it up and come on down

There's something quietly stunning about the way Donna The Buffalo uses the harsh realities of Eden's loss to honor and frame the inner world of hope for a new Eden, bringing realism and hope and faith in the universe to bear upon the world. Their call to arms makes a great live show, if you ever get the chance, but their particular vision also comes across powerfully on paper and in plastic, in bits and bytes, in ears and imagination. Join The Herd, and celebrate life's potential.

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