Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Father's Gun

A Civil War tale from Bernie, in keeping with the themes of Tumbleweed Connection.

A young man inherits his deceased father's firearm, and makes ready to go fight in the War Between the States. In the third verse, he imagines an idyllic life for him and his family when the South wins. Oops! But seriously, that does give the song a bit more of a poignant edge.

Elton provides another Band-style accompaniment, but it's a bit overlong; in trying to achieve some sort of emotional buildup by repeating the chorus over and over at the end as the strings and horns build a la "Hey Jude", he just fosters restlessness, in this listener anyway.

4 comments:

Roger Green said...

Never was restless at all because that chorus was So strong, MUCH more interesting than na-na-na-nanananana. I STILL sing along with both choruses, but EJ's is much more musically rich.

Johnny B said...

That just shows to go ya how different people hear things differently sometimes!

Me, I wish it was about a minute shorter. Better than "Hey Jude"? Hm. Don't know about that...

Steve said...

Poignant, yes. The idea of an alternate perspective - the perspective of the losers - seems brilliant to me. The idea of the young man throwing off his sadness for the thrill of going to fight a heroic war for his values is stirring and seems like it would move the most unfeeling of us - even as his values are so clearly misguided or twisted: "There'll be laughter when the bells of freedom ring" Wow! Wonder what the slaves in the fields would think of that!
As such, it's a brave song to have written, I think, and a thoughtful one to have taken - to have tried to get into the mind of a young Confederate. In real life, it seems that some in the South would still like to rewrite this history...

wcbm said...

Steve-
Having listened to this album with the artwork in from of me, has been like a time machine. This song has always been with me when I'd visit the south or think of the war.
Bernie's sense of the entire era that is represented in the album is so complete and so accurate, at least from my experience, and the feeling Elton brings to the overall sound, for me make it a complete concise work of art. Sometimes it takes an artist from another country to reflect a sense of our own history through their art for us to get it. Worked for me. Don't know if TC is my favorite, but it;s damn close.