LIQUIDS & MUSIC

By ANDY BAKER, translation by Ernest Chen

 

It’s shocking how many songs can be included in a list of songs under the category “LIQUIDS & MUSIC”. Whether its about someone down on their luck and too heavy on the bottle, a lonely rainy night, or even a late night skinny dipping party, there seems no limit in ways to link the two. As I brainstormed on this playlist, I realised that a few of my old favourite songs could make the list, several I had not thought of in years. So it was a pleasure to create this list.

我非常驚訝,居然有這麼多歌可以被列入「液體與音樂」這個分類。無論是關於有人諸事不順而買醉、一個寂寞的雨夜,或是一場深夜裸泳派對,似乎有千萬種連結兩者的方式。當我在思考這次的歌單時,我發現有幾首我的舊愛頗為合適,其中部分歌曲還已經遺忘多年,所以我還蠻享受這次的歌單發想。

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“Five Feet High and Rising” by Johnny Cash. In one of his most simple yet brilliant songs he tells a story about the great flood of 1937 on the Mississippi river in Arkansas. The song is written from his fathers perspective describing the foot by foot rising of the water level on the farm where Johhny Cash was raised. With each new verse John asks his parents about the rising water and is answered with a positive tone reminiscent of how a parent would speak to their young child. As the song progresses he changes the key a half step higher for each new verse, creating more tension as the song progresses.

在強尼‧凱許的音樂作品中,〈Five Feet High and Rising 水淹五呎高〉是一首極為簡單但又優異的歌曲,主題是美國阿肯色州於1937年時遭遇的洪害。歌曲從凱許父親的角度,描繪洪水如何一呎又一呎襲來,淹沒凱許成長的農場。在每段主歌中,凱許詢問著父母洪水的狀況,而他們則用一般父母會對小孩說話的方式,用正面樂觀的語氣回覆他。隨著歌曲推進,每段主歌都升一個半音,製造出一種緊張感。

 

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“When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin. The lyrics to this song (written by Memphis Minnie in 1927) are based on The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. African-American plantation workers were forced to work on the levee at gunpoint, piling sandbags to save the neighboring towns. This song is most famous for the Drum beat and legendary drum sound. According to the producer Andy Johns he and drummer John Bonham achieved the drum sound in a central stairwell in the castle they were recording in by hanging microphones 3 stories above the drum set. This drum beat can be heard sampled on countless records.

齊柏林飛船的〈When the Levee Breaks 潰堤之時〉(由曼菲絲‧蜜妮於1927年時所創作),歌詞在描寫1927年的密西西比河大洪水,當時非裔美籍農場工人被迫在槍口下推沙包築堤,來拯救鄰近的城鎮。這首歌最出名的就是它的節奏形態以及傳奇性的鼓聲。根據製作人安迪‧約翰斯的說法,他和鼓手約翰‧博納姆是在一座城堡的中央樓梯間,錄音時將麥克風安置在比鼓組的位置高出三層樓的地方,才成功錄製完成,而這個節奏形態後來也被運用在許多歌曲中。

 

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“Hawaii Five O” by the Ventures The instrumental theme to the Television show Hawaii Five-O is another theme song that was so incredibly popular that it charted all across the country. The Ventures version of the song reached Number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969, and it has since become a standard for marching bands.

投機者樂團的〈Hawaii Five O 檀島警騎〉。電視劇「檀島警騎」的同名主題曲又是一首極受歡迎的排行榜大熱門。投機者樂團的版本在1969年時曾登上告示牌百大單曲榜第十一名,此後也成為儀樂隊的常見歌單。

 

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“Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads ‘Once in a Lifetime’ is often associated with midlife crises. In this song water appears to signify the constant movement of time. It can hold you down. It can be an unseen force (“water flowing underground“). And there’s not much you can do to stop it – much less remove it from the bottom of the ocean.

傳聲頭像的〈Once in a Lifetime 一生一次〉常讓人聯想到中年危機。歌曲中,水被用來象徵時間的不斷流動,它可以支持著你,也可以是無形的力量(「在地下流動的水」),而且你幾乎無力阻止這股力量,更別說是將其從海底抽除。

 

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“Nightswimming” by R.E.M. In this song Michael Stipe sings a ballad accompanied by bass, piano and an oboe. He talks in this one about frequent late nights when groups of 30 or so people would sneak onto an Athens GA guys property and swim naked in his pool. This was said to be the only song by R.E.M. where the lyrics were written before the music.

R.E.M.的〈Nightswimming 夜泳〉。麥可‧史戴普唱著這首抒情歌,襯著貝斯、鋼琴與雙簧管,訴說在許多深夜時分,有一群三十歲左右的人會潛入一位住在美國喬治雅州雅典市的男子的家,並在他家裸泳。據說這首歌在R.E.M.的作品當中,是唯一一首先作詞後譜曲的歌。

 

THE RIVER

“The River” by Bruce Springsteen . As with most Springsteen songs, “The River” tells the story of the struggles of adulthood. This particular song tells the story of a couple who has been together since high school, spending their youth down at the river swimming and sunning. As the song progresses both the river and their lives change with time. By the end, the river that once tied them together and brought them joy is gone. It’s hard to imagine a river dying; about as hard as it is to see teenage dreams dry up.

布魯斯‧斯普林斯廷絕大多數的作品都是在描述大人的掙扎,〈The River 河〉這首歌也不例外,描繪一對從高中時代就在一起的情侶,在河中游泳、享受陽光度過青春,而隨著歌曲推進,河流和他們的人生都產生了變化,到最後,那條羈絆著兩人、帶給他們快樂的河流消失了。一般很難想像河流會枯竭,就如同我們很難接受年少的夢想乾涸。

 

DOWN BY THE WATER

“Down By the Water” by PJ Harvey What happened under the bridge is still in question, but there is no doubt that innocence was lost. Whether it was the narrator who lost her childhood to sexual abuse or her actual daughter, she stands on the banks of the river and begs the fish (Christ) to bring back her purity. It was said that P.J. Harvey read a story in the newspaper about a mother who found out her 14 year old daughter wasn’t a virgin anymore so she drowned her own daughter then P.J. Harvey wrote the song about that story.

PJ哈維的〈Down By the Water河畔〉。在橋下發生了什麼事依舊是個謎,但是失去了童貞這件事則是千真萬確的。無論是敘事者本人或是她的親女兒因為受到性虐待而失去童年,她站在河畔向魚(耶穌)祈求取回她的純潔。據說PJ哈維在報紙上讀到了一則新聞,報導一位母親發現她的十四歲女兒失去童貞並親手將女兒溺斃,於是哈維才為這個故事寫下了這首歌。

 

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“Strange Boat” by The Waterboys This song is lyrically so simple, but at the same time endlessly complex. This song allows the listener to fill in the blanks line by line, verse by verse. For me this song to me defines a timeless piece of music. It is from an all time favourite album of mine Fisherman’s Blues.

水男孩合唱團的〈Strange Boat 怪船〉一曲的歌詞非常簡單,但也極度複雜。這首歌讓聽者可以自行在每句歌詞與每段歌詞之間發揮想像。對我來說這正是一首可以永久流傳的作品,收錄在我最愛的專輯〈漁夫的憂鬱〉中。

 

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“Here Comes the Rain Again” by the Eurythmics. This 80’s classic was first composed when Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox were in a New York Hotel on a Cloudy day. Dave had just purchased an early casio keyboard and was playing the riff to the song when Annie just sang spontaneously Here Comes the Rain again. This song is in Daves words about that undecided thing, like here comes depression, or here comes that downward spiral. But then it goes, ‘so talk to me like lovers do.’ It’s the wandering in and out of melancholy, a dark beauty that sort of is like the rose that’s when it’s darkest unfolding and bloodred just before the garden, dies. And capturing that in kind of oblique statements and sentiments.

舞韻合唱團的〈Here Comes the Rain Again 又下起雨〉是八零年代的經典歌曲,由戴夫‧史都華和安妮‧藍妮克絲在一個陰天,於紐約的旅館創作而成。當時史都華剛買了一台早期的卡西歐電子琴,他彈奏著即興重複段落,而藍尼克絲則即興演唱出這首〈又下起雨〉。根據史都華的說法,這首歌是在談論一種「未知」,例如憂鬱纏身、陷入悲傷,但是這種負面情緒來了又去,「像戀人般和我說話」。歌曲藉由迂迴的敘事與情緒,捕捉一種黑暗之美,反覆陷入陰鬱又掙脫,就像玫瑰在花園綻放血紅之美,卻也象徵凋零枯萎的死亡血色。

 

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“Moonshiner” by Uncle Tupelo This song has been an all time favourite of mine. Another simple song, but heart felt in its delivery. It tells the story of man who’s life is all consumed with the effects of alcohol and his drinking habits. This song appears on the album March 16-20, 1992 and refers to the 5 day span in which it was recorded. This album was produced by the guitar player Pete Buck of R.E.M.

出發囉大叔的〈Moonshiner 月閃〉可說是我歷來最愛的歌曲。這又是一首簡單的歌,但是傳達出深刻的情感,訴說著一位男子一生都為酒癮所苦的故事。這首歌收錄在〈3月16-20日,1992年〉專輯中,專輯名稱正是指錄音的那五天,製作人則是R.E.M.的吉他手彼得‧巴克。