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Old 01-27-2007, 10:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by borneoman
I did an attempt at the lyrics of Is That It My Friend, from the LA Orpheum gig. The second verse (sung by Lisa) is rather short and seems to me like a part is missing, so not sure if it's like that or Lisa forgot the lyrics... Feedback appreciated!!!! By the way, loooooooooove the song!!!
That's the main reason I didn't bother transcribing it. It was clear that quite a chunk of lyrics were left out and so I'd just been patiently waiting on the Vicar St. tapes to be released (sadly that seems to be very low priority).

Sis had the only recording of this song (and does of "Fear") for several years and though I tried valiantly to help her find the means to share it, the condition of the tape wasn't amenable so we're very lucky he finally brought it back out late last year.

Even taking into account Lisa's lapse it sounded to me like there was probably at least another whole verse missing (notice the awkward extended instrumental vamping which followed) and now seeing Sis' earlier version I'm positive of it.

While it's likely Damo would change a few words over the years or even add an entire verse on to an older song (like he seems to have done with "Fool") I see no reason to abandon such a phenomenal poetic stanza entirely. To say nothing of how it likewise contains 4 consecutive "I" statements anticipating the echoes contained in the pre-chorus. Besides which, the whole concept with the sky and the beautiful day are quite essential as structural counterpoint to what now serves as the last verse. I could see him still being on the fence about where to best place it but it should definitely be left in (the most logical and perfect fit is for that one to become instead the second verse, keeping the 'goodnight' one for last). After all, it doesn't tell Lisa's side of the story: that's still his side.
Hey, wait a second...

New theory! Lisa started singing the wrong verse, suddenly realized it and stopped herself before she got to the lines where it would have been obvious that the wrong character was singing. Eureka!

Awesome: that would mean all three verses are rightly still in the song!!! Makes so much more sense to me now.

Anywho, born, I've digressed. Aside from your surprising omission of crucial punctuation (God, Damo's brilliant at using stinging rhetorical questions as weapons of guilt, isn't he?) and the fact that for past-meets-quasi-future- tense agreement sake both of the "Did you wait" lines must be followed by the word "I'd" rather than simply "I"; this is what I've heard (keep in mind his frequent implementation of clever wordplay).

Wait. Let me add this thought train first.

Also the whole song is thematically about the limbo of grains of sand (Damo's favorite mineral) shifting within the hourglass which is why I think he went so far with the wonderfully melodramatic/romantic Rudolph Valentino in "The Sheik" metaphor. Note also that it's very hard to say whether he means more than one footprint so, yes, it could well be given an apostrophe after the 't'. Either way, I hope I'm right because it's a devastatingly stark, powerful and moving metaphoric image of intemperance (In fact, his whole first verse here is gloriously Beckett-ian! surely it's no coincidence both are Irish?).

Is that it, my friend?
We've come to the end?
Only 2 days now
With letters to send
To the Prince of the desert.
The prints in the sand...
Did he ask for your love?
Did he ask for your hand?
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