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P o s i t i v e V i b r a t i o n s

jibber jabber jibber jabber special
i wish to god that you'd say what you're doing

Robyn speaks about his own songs...

"The Face Of Death is about an old guy who used to wander up and down Kimberley Road. He looked like most of the life had already been sucked out of him. Eventually he died, but not before we all noticed him. He was very much a role model to us in our early twenties. This was like 76-77, and while punk was erupting in London we were very fixated on this guy in his late forties with a leather jacket and an upside-down face. You could just feel this absence of hope coming around the corner like a black hole. You dodn't want this absence of hope but you wouldn't say anything, obviously, because he wouldn't have responded and you, being English, certainly wouldn't want to step over the boundaries of good taste by saying "Hello, absence of hope, how are you?", as would have happened in a more courteous society like ancient China."

"Brenda's Iron Sledge is a thinly disguised allegory of political decline, which explains why people on top use the people underneath as shock absorbers. The reason it takes so long for any change to come through from the powers that be is that everyone else is laid underneath them like a load of sausages, cushioning them from the effect of whatever disaster is happening. There's just, you know, mounds of human flesh between the powers that be and the powers that aren't, and most of us are somewhere up and down that scale, trying to get to the top of the sausages and become a power that be, rather than staying down the bottom and being crushed, or just exploding."

"Chinese Bones is about two people who feed on each other. But not in the right way. Ideally, when you take a slice out of the one you love and you eat it it's twice as big when you look around at them again. But when these people feed on each other, each time they take a bite out there's a hole twice as big as they ate. You might say "This is facile, what does it mean?" Think of it as a cartoon. Two people being eroded very very fast from plump and pleasant to skeletal and horrible. And it's nothing to do with weight loss."

"Veins Of The Queen is about the fact that the Queen is someone who's never allowed to have an opinion. Even her son is allowed to have an opinion, but the Queen can never say anything. There are rumours that the Queen liked this, or didn't. The Queen is the eternal straight man - she can't do anything. She may loathe the governments she represents, but if you're shoved in gaol or whatever it's her majesty's government - you're detained at her majesty's pleasure. Technically speaking the Queen could come down, you know, with a waffle and a couple of glasses of wine, and say "Hang on a minute, let me in. Now, why are you holding this nice young man?", or she could come round to your house when you had a big tax bill and she could just rip it up and say "No, that's alright". But she's not allowed to be a person in any respect, so I'm just speculating about how she feels. Your blood is in your veins and your blood is your feelings, you know. It goes through your heart. What does she feel?"

"So You Think You're In Love is the most 'pop' of the things on the album, which is why it was released as a single. It was written and sounds like a pop song. I wrote it in two and a half minutes round the table and that was it really. Kimberley came in and suggested what to do with the chords in the middle bit, but, you know, it was very fast, really. The interesting thing about a pop single is that a good single, it doesn't really matter who it's by; it has a life of its own. Some people are fans of a certain act and so they'll buy their records but what's a great single, whether it'sHe's A Rebel orRunaround Sue orMaterial Girl orI'm Not In Love or any of them,I Feel Love or something, they're by people you might not be remotely interested in but they're just great singles. That art may have disappeared.

"I think [The Moon Inside] is about the power inside a woman. It's lunar, it's tidal. It's just as the menstrual cycle is linked, amazingly enough, to the passage of the moon, as are, I think, the activities of crabs, and I've never understood why a full moon is powerful. Because life on Earth has evolved with the moon, there is now a moon inside of us. You know, if a woman went off to Alpha Centauri or something like that, she would still menstruate in 28-day cycles, at least to begin with, and probably if you took a bunch of crabs and put them on Pluto or something in a huge salt water tank they would initially act in sync with the way that the moon affected crabs on Earth, you know. So we've got that lunar element inside of us and I specifically link it with. This particular song is to do with the passion, if you like, the way quite unexpected feelings can come up in people just as the sea has all kinds of moves, the sea can caress you, the sea can break your neck, the sea can be treacherous, the sea can boil you up and keep you there, the sea can pull you down and finish you forever, the sea is your mother, the sea is potentially your assassin, we suppos- edly come out of the sea. Maybe if the world ever sort of chokes on its own vomit the sea will be the last place to be terminally polluted. There must be huge great things down there the size of cathedrals, kind of buried feelings, right at the bottom where we can't see. I think this is all just related to the moon inside us, the hidden, the unexplained, the uncontrollable forces of the sea which again are controlled by the moon."

Sources include Robyn at:

©1994 Robyn Hitchcock/Positive Vibrations. Not to be reproduced without prior consent.

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