I recently posted about the use of profanity in music.
I expressed the desire to write about some of my favourite “profane” tracks.
These are tracks that contain profane lyrical content either in language or description.
These are also tracks that have had or continue to have a profound emotional impact on me.
I don’t think I have ever written about it but I am a big fan of foreign cinema. Primarily movies from France, Spain or Germany but my movie library contains items from Hong Kong, Korea and Japan as well as English speaking points of origin such as Australia.
Years ago (over a decade ago) I had the good fortune to stumble across Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt in its native tongue).
Whilst the film pre-dates The Butterfly Effect by six years, it does seem to be a German cross between Groundhog Day, The Butterfly Effect and Trainspotting – it stars the beautiful Franka Potente alongside the fine German actor, Moritz Bleibtreu.
If you haven’t seen it, you really should… don’t let a poor grasp of the German language put you off, there are dubbed versions.
Whilst searching for other films that the multilingual Franka starred in, I came across reference to a short movie titled Easy Day. I couldn’t find the short anywhere, nobody wanted to sell me it and the torrent network of the time hadn’t heard of it…
… although it did produce a music video of the same name, starring Franke Potente.
The music video, seemingly based around the short movie of the same name, is not listed on YouTube and I have struggled to source a version in as good a quality as I first saw it.
Instead I have settled for the only result my GoogleFu brings me to: This MySpace video.
More so when I listened to the track on the album itself, sans Potente.
Lyrically the track strikes me as post-apocalyptic or at least coloured by the ecological decline of the planet; both are themes that the music video chooses to ignore.
I can forgive the music video, and not just because Franke’s vocal enhancements make for a pleasant alternative to the album track.
The video is paired with the short movie with all its Wrong Turn and Deliverance promises.
The reason I include this track in my Profanity in Music list is entirely down to one sequence.
“What fuck above do I have to thank that I ‘m here to live in this shit“.
The rest of the song is profanity free and relatively upbeat.
The song appeals to me on a number of levels.
Firstly, it has a happy beat and tempo that contrasts the lead vocalist’s voice. He’s like a cross between David Bowie and Lex Luther.
Secondly, the song has a sense of repressed rage to it.
Rage is a part of my life I haven’t really written about yet but I intend to. The late radio DJ John Peel once said that he never really understood rage until he became diabetic – a statement I can fully appreciate.
There are points where I imagine the vocalist spitting out the lyrics with venom.
Every day I get up, Put my black plastic security suit on; My gasmask, Leave the cellar and go to work. Afraid to be poisoned or trampelled, By this huge machinery And I think to myself What fuck above Do Ihave to thank That I’m here to live In this shit I don’t Wanna complain about The acid rain ’cause it’s Nice compared to this Poison Air And I wish I could just Once see the moon Or one gorgeous show So I take it off Yeah that’s feeling good Though I’m deeply sick Right away It’s like dancing in the sun Having trouble Having fun Having anything you wish to come Then it suddenly smiles your way And you have an easy day It’s time to have an easy day It’s time to have an easy day It’s time to have an easy day It’s time to have an easy day It’s time to have an easy day It’s time to have an easy … What the hell? This must be an antique supermarket What am I doing here? God, these people drinking milk But the clothes they wear look rather cool to me And I wear the same What am I doing here? Excuse me, Sir, can you help me out? I wanna bake a cake but I don’t know how. No, I don’t but I’m sure I will So what do we need For your bakery? It’s like dancing in the sun Having trouble having fun Having anything you wish to come then it suddenly smiles your way And you have an easy day It’s like, it’s like, it’s like… It’s like dancing in the sun Having trouble having fun Having anything you wish to come then it suddenly smiles your way And you have an easy day It’s time to have an easy day It’s time to have an easy day It’s time to have an easy day It’s time to have an easy day It’s time to have an easy day It’s time to have an easy day It’s time to have an easy day-ay-ay-ay easy day-ay-ay-ay easy day-ay-ay-ay easy day-ay-ay-ay easy day-ay-ay-ay easy day-ay-ay-ay easy day…Finally, the relevance of the profanity itself. A world weary worker voicing his wrath to an unknown creator with vengeful cynicism. No doubt ignorant to the possibility that such indifference and lack of deference to the Divine is what is likely cursing him to the claustrophobic hell his life has become.
Or maybe I’m reading too much into it…
So what is it I see in the song?
The song could be interpreted in a number of ways and the music video has some subtle points that further deepen the potential meanings.
The video starts off following a similar theme to that of the short movie Easy Day.
The synopsis for the short movie has a couple out for a drive/walk bump into a weirdo and move on to avoid him but are confronted by him later on.
In the music video the same seems to be happening at the beginning but our Lex Luther looking vocalist, taking the role of the weirdo, seems to fantasize Franka Potente in his car. Towards the end of the video, he is interacting with her whilst the rest of the band (his fellow hillbillies) don’t see her.
Whilst the song itself is sung from the point of view of someone trapped in a daily routine, imprisoned not only by the protective suit/mask they wear but also the routine they are trapped within.
Looking to blame someone for the predicament, the singer is claustrophobic and frustrated; they remove their mask to take in the glory of the moon, only to feel sick immediately.
The initial implication is radiation sickness, although this could equally be agoraphobia. The sudden exposure to an unblinkered reality.
This interpretation is further reinforced by the next verse, wherein the singer realises he is surrounded by uniformed workers in a supermarket. He too is wearing a unifom and is approached by a consumer requesting advice.
The implication here is clear. An individual, driven inside themselves by the mind-numbing tedium of their day-to-day life awakes to an epiphany – zen like in its simplicity. He doesn’t need to be trapped within the self imposed shackles of the rat race and instead enjoys the experiences of the day – helping the consumer out of a desire for adventure rather than the pressure to conform.
Erm… or maybe I am reading too much into it.
I like the track none-the-less.