SONG: Tired (A Neanderthal Complains)

SONG:

“Tired (A Neanderthal Complains).” [Download]
(To download: double right-click & “Save As”)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Based on “Neanderthals may have been first human species to create cave paintings”, Guardian, 14 June 2012, as used in the post “Neanderthals made beautiful things.”.

ABSTRACT: I love a waltz. This was written in response to the latest SongFu2012 prompt, from Marian Call:“File a complaint in 3/4 time. Not 6/8 – 3/4.”. A waltz! Complaining! So very old fashioned.

I kind of knew I wanted to write about Neanderthals, who may or may not be the same species as us, divided by little more than a few millennia. And yet the headlines are always so breathless – we share DNA! They had religion! They made music with flutes! They created art! Well, if they were us… just a really old, slightly different us… then of course they would, wouldn’t they.

This started with a few soundfonts sampled from a gamelan and a didjeridu, for a kind of polite primalness. Then the Delay Lama throatsinging VST turned up. But I knew there’d be a high harmony on the chorus and acoustic guitars all along… maybe that part came first, only wasn’t ever written down, cave-painting style. Mixing the vocals for this was difficult and I’m not sure why – there were some kind of phase issues, though (if they suddenly sound like they’re panning from left to right and back in mid-line, that’s what I’m talking about), and they’d keep vanishing and then reappearing as I went along. Haunting me.

Lyrics:

DEAR sir or madam,
I write with concern
Over projects you’ve launched
on my pigmented walls

I have traced your conjecture
from cavern to lecture-hall
boggled in awe at
your pride at our fall

Your naked assumptions
and cocky disruptions
of traces of our faces
and hands

I’m tired of being forgotten
So tired and bent by its weight
I’m tired of these ignorant children
Who can’t read the past in my paint
So I lodge my complaint.

Sir or madam,
I write with dismay
over trespasses made
in our caves

We valued our privacy
Kept our own company
Retreated to honor
Our forefathers’ shades

They’re tired of being forgotten
So tired and bent by its weight
They’re tired of these ignorant children
Who can’t read the past in their paint
So I lodge my complaint.

Sir or madam,
Have I made myself clear?
Are these letters too old –
Do I need to explain?

Despite all our differences
Hold off your dismissiveness
Look harder –
We all want the same thing, and we are

all tired of being forgotten
So tired and bent by its weight
We’re tired of these ignorant children
Who can’t read the past in our paint

Tired…

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