Song : The Barr Brothers – Beggar in the Morning

December 13th, 2012
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This song is haunting.  A beautiful tune with multiple references to greek mythology.  I think knowing a bit about the references really helps understand the song a bit better.

Dionysus (referenced in the first verse) is the Greek solar god of wine, who was born on December 25th of Zeus and Persephone (god of the Greek underworld).  Hera, who was Zeus’ wife was jealous and sent the Titans to rip the child to shreds.  Zeus killed all of the Titans but not before they had eaten all of Dionysus but his heart.  Some say Zeus ground up his heart and served it to Semele (a mortal) to drink which impregnated her.  This is why Dionysus is considered to have been “twice-born” and the second time of a virgin… i.e. virgin birth.  Some say Dionysus is the originating character of what later would become the Jesus story.  He allegedly turned water into wine and visited his mother in Hades for 3 days after he died before ascending on a chariot to his after life.  With all that in mind, he was a very eccentric character – unexpected –  and that is why the powerful disliked him.  He was a representative for the less fortunate and weak.

Knowing the story sheds a different light on this song.  It turns into a story of death, prayer, pain, self doubt and hope… and this music video is the perfect visual representation of all of that.  It is curiously disturbing in the most beautiful way and perfectly encompasses the emotion the song incites.

Words from The Barr Brothers about the video

“The idea for the Beggar in the Morning video came after I met the artist Stephan Bircher in British Columbia. A friend of mine was sharing an art opening with him. The next day I went out to his studio and was introduced to this wonderful dark and playful world of his imagination — objects from the natural world – bones, shells, skulls – reused and redefined with rusty old machine parts. With the flick of a switch, it all comes to life. I always thought that a video would be the best way for people to see his work, since its very involved and expensive for him to dismantle his figurines and set them up somewhere else. Ideally, this video is beneficial for both The Barr Brothers and Stephan, as I hope more people will be introduced to this very unique and imaginative artist. The director, Sebastien Lange had to travel to British Columbia to film the figurines as they cannot be transported…” – Brad

View the artist’s website.

Lyrics

Steady woman won’t you come on down?
I need you right here on the ground
I’ve walked the outskirts of this town
Been terrorized by what I’ve found

I saw a standing virgin bride
Where holy Dionysus died
She tore the heart out of his side
And laid it there, and there she cried

(Whoa’s x4)

She said, “Hello, I’m a monster too.”
“What poisons me is what poisons you.”
Into these animals we grew
(But) When we were young our eyes were blue

I take my medicine on my knee
Twice a day but lately three
It keeps the devil from my door
But it makes me rich and it makes me poor

I’m a beggar in the morning,
I’m a king at night,
My belt is loose,
But my trigger is tight

It may come without warning,
At the speed of the light
Make it shine so pretty
Make it shine so bright

(Music Break)

I think I’ve come a long, long way
To sit before you here today
They’re yours alone, the songs I play,
To take with you or to throw away

Whoa-o-o-o, Whoa-o-o-o-o-o-o, Whoa-o-o-o-o, Whoa-o-o-o, Whoa-o-o-o
(Away forever or fade away)

Oh, I want an angel to wipe my tears,
Know my dreams, my hopes, desires and fears
We may capsize, but we won’t drown
Hold each other as the sun goes down

I’m a beggar in the morning,
I’m a king at night,
My belt is loose, and
My trigger is tight

May come without warning
At the speed of the light-
Make it shine so pretty,
Make it shine so bright.

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