Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Last Beat of My Heart :: DeVotchKa

Since today's posting request was rather short notice, I'm digging back in the archives of my personal blogging, and pulling out an altered version of something I wrote back in May about DeVotchKa's cover of The Last Beat of My Heart. New things from now on, I promise. Enjoy!

May 28, 2007
There is something about DeVotchKa's EP Curse Your Little Heart. The title track is their own, and the other 5 tracks are covers, a beautiful and strange assortment of arrangements that is so tight and fantastic that I can listen to it a thousand times over. And have. It gets under my skin. It seeps in through my pours, fills my ears, courses through my veins, expands my lungs, and pumps through my heart. It lifts me, it makes me feel deep inside my soul. I love the whole thing. Deeply.
But the song that always gets me the most is The Last Beat of My Heart. This song was originally recorded by the band Siouxsie & the Banshies in 1988.
The arrangement of this song makes me feel what the lyrics say - even without them, I would understand. The original is good. But DeVotchKa's version melts me. And today, it made me sob. Spontaneously. I was standing in my bedroom, putting on earrings, looking at myself in the full-length mirror on the back of my door. I was feeling good, and was listening to the album for a little morning music. The strings entered on The Last Beat of My Heart, then the guitars and percussion, a pulsing rhythmic force. The lyrics, heartbreaking and beautiful, began. The cello and bass line entered, then the accordion; deep and warm, they created sweeping harmonies, building on one another. I felt a music-induced ache in my chest (not unusual) and breathed deeply. Then I suddenly, I started to sob. Uncontrollably. Tears poured from my eyes, my face contorted and felt hot, and I collapsed on my bed. Through the entire song - all 5 minutes and 37 seconds - I wept and wrapped myself around a pillow.
The next track began - Somethin' Stupid (courtesy of old blue eyes). I sat up on my bed, feeling like someone just pulled the plug from my emotional bathtub. A gentle breeze came in through my porch screen door, and cooled my hot, tear-dampened cheeks. Catharsis. All morning I'd felt solid. Then the right song comes on, and I am shaken to the depth of my core. Clearly, this song hit on something I wasn't able to tap into myself.

So check it out - since I'm having trouble getting the video to imbed, here's a link to a video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rsV2NsB81M Maybe you'll like, maybe you won't, maybe you'll want to cry, or maybe you'll think I was having a particularly emotionally unstable day. But either way, you can't deny the fact that this is just a great effin' song!




The Last Beat of My Heart::DeVotchKa

In the sharp gust of love
My memory stirred
When time wreathed a rose
A garland of shame
Its thorn my only delight
War torn, afraid to speak
We dare to breathe
Majestic
Imperial
A bridge of sighs
Solitude sails
In a wave of forgiveness
On angels' wings

Reach out your hands
Don't turn your back
Don't walk away
How in the world
Can I wish for this?
Never to be torn apart
Close to you
'Til the last beat
Of my heart

At the close of day
The sunset cloaks
These words in shadowplay
Here and now, long and loud
My heart cries out
And the naked bone of an echo says
Don't walk away

Reach out your hands
I'm just a step away
How in the world
Can I wish for this?
Never to be torn apart
Close to you
'Til the last beat
Of my heart

How in the world
Can I wish for this?
Never to be torn apart
'Til the last beat
'Til the last fleeting beat
Of my heart

4 comments:

Quaking Aspen said...

Yay, Kim! You Rock! I love this song, I love DeVotchKa and I love Siouxsie and the Banshees. Thanks so much for jumping in!

meggo said...

for real. this song rocks! i am so excited about this y'all...if i thought i was excited when flunker and i were talkin about it, i'm even more excited now that we have so many amazing people working on this! seriously...i needed this. i hope you all did too b/c this is the shit!

gitfiddler said...

Yup. Tears, chest pain, and a light to climb towards. I feel like I'm sitting at the Round Table of fabulous women in the old school joint for the True Funk Soldiers. Musicology!

Loving you, Kimmy!

Hello, my name is Kim Christensen. said...

Aimee, I think that was one of the best sentances I have ever read: "I feel like I'm sitting at the Round Table of fabulous women in the old school joint for the True Funk Soldiers."

Whoa. You win an award for that one, Wise Sister Ringle.