SONG: By Numbers

SONG:

By Numbers [Download]
.”

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE:Germany to probe Nazi-era medical science,” Science, 5 Jan 2017, as used in the post “Scientists start identifying the brains taken by Nazi researchers.

ABSTRACT:
I stole the chords for this song from myself. I’m of an age, I guess, where that becomes possible. A friend is doing something with a kind of mournful song I’d half forgotten that I wrote back in… 2000? 2001? and in listening to it to figure out what the chords really were, I realized the progression wouldn’t be half bad as a power-pop song.

So I stole them, sped them up, diddled around a little on an organ (which wound up putting them back in half time, but with a catchy little riff), then replicated that using MIDI Rhodes piano, added some drums, a live guitar, and then figured out that if I made the MIDI track go through two VSTis at once, it’d play two instruments at the same time, so made a bass organ with a brass band at the same time (which made the bass stuff kinda gnarly and the solo transcendent) and THEN… hmmm. What was it about?

Was this… is this too optimistic for a song about Aktion T4 and the “social undesirables” deemed, by the civic-minded German establishment, “life unworthy of life”? I mean, there’s a personal element there – my grandfather died as a patient in one of those facilities.

I have no idea if part of his brain – what made him him – is preserved in sections in glass in one of these boxes or not. But every slide is part of someone’s personality. They’re all in there. We might not have their names, but at least we’ve got their numbers. The names will come.

Sorry it’s taking so long, guys!

The vocals are supposed to be overlapping in opposite ears (one far left, the next far right, and back and forth again) to give the impression of many voices. I just recorded it now, so it’s not all that polished there. But that trumpet solo, hey?

This is probably not the first anti-Nazi power-pop song, but hey, there’s always room for one more. Better to be a little goofy than to let this stuff be forgotten.

(I think I’m going to remix this once my ears have settled down – the vocals need to sit better in the mix.)

LYRICS:

The memories drawn thin
This tree of knowledge was a sin
Every slice in order here –
Filed away for years
Each one by number

Ch
When the doctors came
Searching for our veins
They kept us pacified
We died (by numbers)
We died (by numbers)
We died (by numbers) —

Bureaucracies live on
Haunted by what’s gone
Thoughts saved under tempered glass
Neurons sliced and boxed and stacked
Each one by number
Each one by number
Each one by number

Ch
The nurses arms
Swore to do no harm
Kept us pacified
We died (by numbers)
We died (by numbers)

Br/solo

Vs
Take away our names
But we come back again
Take away our names
We come back again
Take away our names
We come back again
We come back again
We come back by numbers

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