Saturday, May 9, 2009

Oh Mama: Arrowhead

Richard Shindell: Arrowhead


Okay, it's Saturday afternoon... at what has become an acceptable time to stretch the boundaries of each week's theme before we move on to the next - admittedly, Arrowhead does not contain the word Mama in the title... yet the maternal moniker appears at the beginning of the first and last line of each of the 6 verses, 12 times in all...

“The narrator of that song is a child-soldier in the Civil War who is addressing his mother (perhaps in a letter, perhaps just in his mind),” explains Shindell.

To me, it's always been a musical retelling of the first few chapters of Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage - I've chosen to include the version from Courier rather than the produced track from Blue Divide, mainly because the driving rhythm on the live CD mirrors the drumbeat of the young "mascot of the Third Brigade", as excitement about the fantasies of war soon segue to the realities of actual battle, in which men are forever changed... whether killed, wounded or emotionally scarred...

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