I love the album Bad Blood by the new band Bastille. It’s definitely retro. To me each song sounds like an eighties hit. But whereas those old eighties bands would have maybe one or two hits on their album, Bastille has produced a good album from start to finish.
No my trouble is not with this album. But I bought the double CD complete set. My problem is with the very first song on the second album – Poet.
Dan Smith is the creative force who writes the vast majority of Bastille songs. Indeed, although he is British, his birthday is on Bastille Day which is where the name of the band comes from. But the first time through, reading and listening to the words of Poet, I immediately disliked it.
My problem can be encapsulated by the line, “I have written you down now you will live forever”. I will never agree with this line.
I think the problem is that Mr. Smith is still young and might very well believe his words. Writing down the character of a person could indeed make them relevant years later, but forever is a really, really, really long time. Most cultural vehicles don’t make it past the generation they are a part of. Even some really famous culture won’t make it any further into time than their own generation’s lives. Oh yes there are outliers that do, but if we look at the long term, say a millennium, few words will be relevant to these future dwellers.
I can see something surviving,say the incredibly deductive detective Sherlock Holmes. Or maybe someone represents the culture of our times so thoroughly that they, too, are spared from the trash heap. But someone a thousand years in the future is going to know a lot more about the year 3000 than the year 2000. It is what it is, I don’t think most characters and people will last all that long if they are in a poem.
But what if Dan Smith is not naive? What if this is just his way of picking up sexual partners? “I could write you down and then you would live forever, “ he might say. Then the partner would swoon and Mr. Smith would get what he wanted.
I can write, too, so not to be outdone by young Smith, I should try this method to pick up members of the opposite sex. Of course being older makes me more efficient. Instead of bothering with a full character illustration, I will try a name intensive method of writing. I’m thinking about the begat parts of the bible. Something like this:
Tori dumped me when I took up farting in her presence which begat Trina who I dumped because she couldn’t stop and smell the flowers which begat Iris who begat Ella (no, Iris wasn’t Ella’s mother) who begat Cindi who begat… you get the picture.
If Poet suddenly becomes my favourite song, you’ll know why and wonder where my page of “begats” is.