oh! hark!

A fun song with lots of energy yet with a serious side to it by another Australian, Lisa Mitchell.

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The lyrics (below) are quite unusual and I’m still trying to work out what they’re about. One writer who goes by the moniker Froggy1 had this to say:

The song commences with Lisa leaving the grave. This immediately gets the listener thinking of death and being risen from the dead. However, the coming out of the grave here is more likely to mean a return to life after a retreat or of hiding away (from society) and the reference to the “devil cooking up a storm” in the third line reveals the still present maleavolent forces which led to the ‘death’ or social retreat in the first place.

This decoding is confirmed by the start of the second verse where Lisa states “My world ends on a regular basis” thus the end here refers to the feelings of hurt and despair and loneliness and the need to hide away (in her grave). But no sooner has she hidden away than there are those “ravens” seeking to eat her flesh (take advantage of her absence by perhaps slandering her name or saying falsehoods). In the NGV painting “Anguish”, ravens wait by the body of a lamb while the mother stands over her dead baby refusing to leave her to the mercy of the hungry ravens. The lamb is innocent and pure (white) while the ravens are dark, many and symbolise evil. In her video for the song Lisa is also in white and the other dancers are all in black and outnumber her greatly. The good fighting against the overwhelming numbers of evil.

However, despite these overwhelming forces of evil, Lisa hears the voice of an angel (Oh! Hark!) and this inspires her to rise from her grave with hope in her stride. And yet although there are voices which offer positivity Lisa’s own self doubts and her fear she is at fate’s mercy drags her back. Once again the song sways back to those undermining forces, many of them camouflaged. In the famous book “Catcher in the Rye”, the main character is unable to come to terms with society and is forever seeing the phoney’s and this depresses him and makes him wish to reject the society with which he lives. Likewise, Lisa finds those who pretend to be well intentioned are camouflaging their perhaps evil or at least selfish motives.

Finally Lisa compares the good of perhaps her friend (the angel): “They couldn’t hold a candle to you!” And yet laments “they stand as tall as you”. Those phoney’s or morally bankrupt or selfish or just evil are given an equal position in society and this is the world Lisa finds hard to accept.

A great song with strong symbolism and a good video which owes gratitude to Kate Bush.

lyrics

‘Once again I leave my grave
Dirt and daisies hit the pave
No sooner than I have turned
I hear the devil cooking up a new storm

My world ends on a regular basis
Yeah I fed quick and lonesome places
No sooner that I am dead
I feel the ravens tugging at my hair

Oh! Hark!
Do you hear a voice like velvet through the night sky?
Do you hear the fickle hand of fate in my side?
And are those the goddesses of hope in your stride?

And watch out
Watch for them camouflaged and crouched in the shadows
Oh they couldn’t hold a candle up to you
But they stand as tall as you in broad daylight too
Oh! Hark!

Once again I leave my grave
And dirt and daisies hit the pave
But no sooner than I am dead
I feel the ravens tugging at my hair

Once again I leave my grave
Like a bird out of its cage
No sooner that I have won
I feel the storm clouds plotting against the sun

Oh! Hark!
Do you hear a voice like velvet through the night sky?
Do you hear the fickle hand of fate in my side?
And are those the goddesses of hope in your stride?

And watch out
Watch for them camouflaged and crouched in the shadows
Oh they couldn’t hold a candle up to you
But they stand as tall as you in broad daylight too
Oh! Hark!

Oh! Hark!
Do you hear a voice like velvet through the night sky?
Do you hear the fickle hand of fate in my side?
And are those the goddesses of hope in your stride?

And watch out
Watch for them camouflaged and crouched in the shadows
Oh they couldn’t hold a candle up to you
But they stand as tall as you in broad daylight too
Oh! Hark!

I agree whole-heatedly. It’s such a cool song. It just wants to get you up and moving.

Running. Dancing. Bopping.

Kim | 72.1

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