As my first post to lyric of the day I thought I would do something a little different, this isn’t so much a song as it is a spoken narrative by two-time academy award winning actor Dennis Hopper (best known for his role as a burnt out hippie in the 1969 cult classic “Easy Rider”) with two short melodic breaks by Gorillaz and ex-Blur lead singer Damon Albarn.
“Once upon a time at the foot of a great mountain, there was a town where the people known as Happyfolk lived. Their very existence a mystery to the rest of the world, obscured as it was by great clouds. Here they played out their peaceful lives, innocent of the litany of excess and violence that was growing in the world below. To live in harmony with the spirit of the mountain called Monkey was enough. Then one day Strangefolk arrived in the town. They came in camouflaged, hidden behind dark glasses, and no one noticed them; they only saw shadows. You see, without the truth of the eyes, the Happyfolk were blind”
The first verse is a very metaphorical story in which the Happyfolk represent a very naive culture living alongside nature in peace and harmony. the Strangefolk seem to represent a foreign invader that coerce themselves into the midst of this tribe.
“In time, the Strangefolk found their way into the higher reaches of the mountain, and it was there that they found the caves of unimaginable sincerity and beauty. By chance, they stumbled upon the place where all good souls come to rest. The Strangefolk, they coveted the jewels in these caves above all things, and soon they began to mine the mountain, it’s rich seam fueling the chaos of their own world. Meanwhile, down in the town, the Happyfolk slept restlessly, their dreams invaded by shadowy figures digging away at their souls. Every day, people would wake and stare at the mountain. Why was it bringing darkness into their lives? And as the Strangefolk mined deeper and deeper into the mountain, holes began to appear, bringing with them a cold and bitter wind that chilled the very soul of the Monkey. For the first time, the Happyfolk felt fearful for, they knew that soon the Monkey would stir from its deep sleep. Then there came a sound. Distant first, it grew into castrophany so immense it could be heard far away in space. There were no screams. There was no talk. The mountain called Monkey had spoken. There was only fire. And then, nothing.”
The second verse shows that the intruders into the community start destroying the mountain by digging it for recourses while the natives start to become disturbed by the unbalance with their usual harmony and symbiotic relationship with nature. At the end the mountain decides it needs to do something and utterly destroys everyone in sight.
This story is very interesting because it reflects a lot of events that have happened throughout human history mostly regarding industrialization into untouched areas such as our oil race now a days. At the end the lyrics seems to say that Earth will soon start defending itself against it and take everyone with it. This song is the first of a trilogy of songs on the “Demon Days” album that includes “Don’t Get Lost In Heaven” and “Demon Days” (the last three tracks on the album).