Thursday, May 31, 2012

SCOTT WALKER: "The Amorous Humphrey Plugg"

Hello Mr. Big Shot
Say, you're looking smart
I've had a tiring day
I took the kids along to the park

You've become a stranger
Every night with the boys
Got a new suit
That old smile's come back
And I kiss the children good night
And I slip away on the newly waxed floor

I've become a giant
I fill every street
I dwarf the rooftops
I hunchback the moon

Stars dance at my feet
Leave it all behind me
Screaming kids on my knee
And the telly swallowing me
And the neighbor shouting next door
And the subway trembling the roller-skate floor

I seek the buildings blazing with moonlight
In Channing Way
Their very eyes seem to suck you in with their laughter
They seem to say

You're all right now
So stop a while behind our smile
In Channing Way

Oh to die of kisses
Ecstasies and charms
Pavements of poets will write that I died
In nine angel's arms

And they all were smiling
Still seductive as sin in their eyes
The man I had been
No more hard luck stories to wear
Nothing left to give
Why the hell should I care

Ann knows my smile and buries my shadow
In Channing Way
And with her cellophane sighs
Corrina the candle
Begs (Bades?) me to stay

You're all right now
So stop a while behind our smile
In Channing Way.

With this track from SCOTT 2 (one of three tracks credited to "Scott Noel Engel"),  Walker entered a poetic conspiracy with his artistic idols (not just Jacques Brel this time) that has continued to this day.  While he was just coming into his own as a lyricist,  this song sets him apart from his influences, and presents a wistful, yet knowing world where dreams and reality co-exist.  It's hardly a narrative,  but can be said to constitute a moment to moment biography where banalities and memory dissove into romantic yearning and back again. While some would consider this part of Scott's "career" inferior to the avant-garde leanings he would later develop to great effect (TILT,  anyone?),  his poetic gifts are certainly in full evidence here.  And hey,  just what is that title all about?

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