The Sick Bag Song
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The Sick Bag Song began life scribbled on paper airlinesick bags during Cave’s 2014 tour. It soon grew into a restless full-length contemporary odyssey.
You will be the remembering lake. So, until then – • The man who is walking on stage at the Sony Centre in Toronto does not realise that he is not a man at all. He is the dream of a boy, with tears in his eyes, standing frozen on a shuddering railway track. The man and the boy dream each other. They remember each other. The man approaches the boy and reaches towards him. Hand in hand, they turn and step into the roaring light. The sound of the faceless, shrieking train is deafening. They
walk themselves slowly to the world’s edge. The ground beneath them shudders and quakes. Each understands that the other may be forgotten. Each understands that the other may die. The universe holds its breath. • Together and alone, they leap. Outside the old Hotel St Paul, The band all hug and say goodbye, Then I make my way to Lake Montreal, And beneath a wood of silver maple trees, I watch a glow rise off the lake, As the night begins to fall. And by that luminescent lake, And under
crawled onto the bed and she pulled the sheet away. Listen, she said. I put my ear against her distended stomach, her knapsack, and listened. I could hear little trapped people swimming around within. They are eating me from the inside, she said. Lucky them, I said. I’m serious, she said. But she had fallen asleep and I crawled off the bed across the floor, up the wainscot and along the panelled ceiling. I pressed my ear to the ceiling and listened. I could hear people gathering on the
a million of us, all over the world, breathing like you tonight. That night, on stage at the Orpheum, I stood at the deep end. It was Canada Day and I was a single screeching lung of lack. My dragon had not survived the night. She had died. I had sat there and listened to her last slow susurration, Bubble like a song from the wound in her side. And the name of the song was ‘The Butcher Boy’, That I heard in 1999 at the South Bank, with my wife, About a young man called Willie who went away, And
from inside a giant Delta sick bag! Trademark infringement, says my manager, who has hopped on the line. Fuck Delta then! We’ll do our own fucking sick bags! meets Arabian Nights meets The Ancient Mariner meets Moby Dick meets the Ramayana meets – • Tonight I wrote down this line in the alley Behind the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, In Portland, Oregon, Where I smoked and sat, I slide my little songs out from under you And I was very happy with that. But where are you? • When my wife