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Thom Moore: Blog

Seven Things Aloom -- track fifteen: Low Blue Drum

Posted on April 6, 2013

 

Low Blue Drum 

Hear it in the windy night: 

slow music, low, blue drum. 

While it blows, you feel it inside,

a heart-throb, calling

to come and fly. 

Your face against a windowpane,

you wonder what you're told: 

try to grip, and it's slipping away,

then close again like the clutch

of a cold, cold rain. 

 

Follow the tune like tide follows moon: 

beauty, hunting blind,

has tracked you all the time

through this world you thought you knew..

 

 

The spirit plays a game with me:

it knows just what to do: 

take my eyes and see what I see,

then in my voice

it muses on what to be. 

The moments come to life somehow: 

slow music, low, blue drum

find a way through the clamour around,

a heart-stopping, artless,

and longing sound. 

 

Follow the tune like tide follows moon: 

beauty, hunting blind,

has tracked your soul and mine

through this world we thought we knew.


©1993 Thom Moore, reg. IMRO, MCPS

 

This song was one of the first that I attempted to create out of earlier efforts in other directions.  The main theme of the song, for instance, is taken from a poem I had written sometime around 1987, called The Other-Angel, where I’d tried to dignify the notion of falling in love with someone for no other reason than they seemed to represent some kind of alien beauty, something with no ties to your world other than the strange attraction they exert on your curious mind and soul.  To hell with it ... here’s the poem:

 

 

The Other-angel

 

The other-angel walks

wingless in the calling foreign air;

she starts in pain and smiles

in wonder at the close grip of it. 

 

In her proper heaven she's bright

and fair: shards of this glisten

through the glazing jumble of a cold day. 

 

She takes a turn at speaking; now

she listens, both moments moving: 

they well up wrong and balky,

finding the fatal chink in my other-armour. 

 

Now, speak or listen, I am amazed

at how her beauty hunts, roving me

to ragged strings as I break and follow. 

In any case, the time was ripe: there I was, living with my new family in the heart of darkest Russia, time on my hands, and my declared intention to write the most beautiful and moving songs of my life.  I had a suitable strange melody as well: a song that had never been recorded. I had played it for an American songwriter friend of mine, who had dismissed it as sounding like the de rigueur blues song that every songwriter had to turn his hand to ... usually with minimal success, was his implication.  That being at least half-true (I was trying to write songs that would interest a singer I worked with, who fancied herself a blues singer), I took the criticism to heart and abandoned the song to my archives ... from whence the melody, at least, re-emerged to form the basis of this song ... which arrived just a tad too late to be included in the songs on 1994’s Gorgeous and Bright. Thank god it has finally found a home.