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Whispers of heaven, radiant earth (Part 2)

March 27, 2010

Heaven by UNKLE

 

Where’s the Seraphim

Where’s the money that we made

Where’s the open gate

Where’s the fortune that we saved

Heaven’s here for you and me

With every falling curl

Heaven’s here for you and me

we gained ourselves the world

 

Hit the Motorway

I can take it all at speed

I got everything

I got everything you need

Heaven’s here for me and you

 scattered out with pearls

Heaven’s here for me and you

we gained ourselves the world

 

Where’s the warrior of light

with gates of solid gold

Paranoia through the fight

with dreams that never fold

Heaven’s here for me n you

scattered out with pearls

Heaven’s here for me and you

we gained ourselves the world. (x2)

 

I thought I would post the lyrics for this song Heaven by the band UNKLE. I don’t know the story behind these words or the meaning intended them by the author(s). However, like much poetry they speak at an unconscious level. Somehow the combination of specific words in a carefully chosen order and linked with phrases which we may be (un)/familiar with in certain other contexts, reaches beneath the iron gates of our pragmatic reason and teases out a thread of deeper life from the poetic core of our soul.

Rationally speaking, I honestly don’t know the meaning of these words. All I can say with absolute conviction is that from experience they stir within me something sensitive and fresh. The words gently encourage a part of me, which is normally  hidden inside and usually dares not raise its bruised and battered face out from its dark jail into the light. These words uncover something, that in normal circumstances, I would be embarrassed to confess. They tenderly coach out from within, dreams of a better world, either in this world or the next. Yes, a world called Heaven.

Heaven – a world of comforting power, bathed in soft light, dressed with sparkling treasure that could be angels and golden gates. It could also be closer to home sometimes. Heaven in radiant earth. The myriads of crystal clear, prisms of raindrops on a showery day? The release of tension in the saline solution of a single tear? The body’s healing convulsions in sobbing when the heart cries free? Perhaps heaven is revealed momentarily in the sunset. Fractured light that bathes the world in an amber glow of sunbeams through the windows of a car travelling down the road? The feeling of waking up in bed to the warmth of a body whose faithful presence has straddled both good and bad times over the years? 

I don’t want to hijack the song-writers intentions or words for a sectarian cause. The lyrics of the song, and the music and video that accompany it, belong to the artistic vision of their creators. I don’t know what their intentions or meanings for their art are. I just know that they touch and free me. They inspire me to think again about life on this earth and the meaning of heaven. I love the final refrain of this song. The singer enunciates  a vision of immanent beauty and transcendent mystery:

 

“Heaven’s here for me n you

scattered out with pearls

Heaven’s here for me and you

we gained ourselves the world.”

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3 comments

  1. I like to read the words as I would be unlikely to ‘hear’ them if I just heard the sound of the music. They seem either profound or puzzling and the video doesn’t seem to add anything unless it is the fragmentation and obviously the ‘now’ Anyway, I keep on looking and listening. Thanks


    • Thanks Sophie for your comments on the blog. It’s always good to get some feedback!
      Yes, I thought it was important to put the lyrics of the song on there, in order for people to read them and hopefully appreciate their poetry.

      For me the words are both ‘profound’ AND ‘puzzling’. As I have written I don’t have a final grasp of what exactly they mean, but in a way that’s what I love about poetry and the lyrics of this song. They open doors for me into unknown territory. They raise questions…provoke me to think again about something that otherwise, I admit, that I have only limited and somewhat stereotypical religious imagery for. ‘What is heaven?’ ‘Can we glimpse something of the ‘beyond’ or ‘eternal’ in everyday moments?

      I appreciate your comments about the video too, thank you for those. I guess I hadn’t thought of it like that solely in terms of fragmentation. Yes, it does echo something of the fragmentation of ‘now’. Funnily enough, for me it really spoke of the ‘unity’ of the now. The seemingly effortless, flight and motion of the skaters. Individuals and group together in a communal activity. The beauty in the barest and sparten of grim, graffitised, concrete urban settings. The ‘poetry in motion’ of the skaters flying through slow motion explosions. The image of the athlete ‘breaking through a wall’…into another dimension perhaps?! I also liked the fact that it showed young men in ordinary clothes as part of an iconic picture entitled Heaven.

      I guess it could be just a personal thing! I imagine that for some people the imagery of the video would not relate to the vision of santuary and heavenly peace that many hope and need in a really valid way, heaven to be. I don’t want to detract from those kinds of beautiful religious images. I guess for me it just spoke very deeply and really touched me.
      In the context of The Dark Night of the Soul the openning lyrics of the song really reached into my soul tenderly asking:

      “Where’s the seraphim?
      Where’s the money that we made?”

      While passing through a Dark Night of the Soul both these questions made sense. Where are the angelic guardians and spiritual manifestations of comfort? Where too are the physical financial provisions that we spend much of our earthly lives trying to secure?

      Thanks again Sophie for your engagement with the posts. It’s always nice to get some encouragement as well as a difference of opinion from time to time too!

      David


  2. Interesting discussion guys. I’ve seen loads of snowboarding and skate videos and after a while you become used to the tricks that at first where amazing and you kinda take the huge selection of vids for granted. This was like nothing I’d seen before so it stands out for me on that front.

    Honestly, if I heard that music in the car (would a radio station play the full song?) or in a film (they definetly wouldn’t play the full thing in a film) I’m not sure it would have clicked. But when I watched both together, in full, for the first time for me it was amazing. It’s like the combined impact is much greater than the individual parts would suggest.

    Anyway, that’s just my view. NOTE: I love watching people do tricks on skate boards, bikes and snow boards so I’m definetly target audience for this!



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