Friday, 30 July 2010


In this week's edition of TRiPOD, we set ourselves the challenge to find three songs which contain soliloquies by Shakespearean actors. Not as difficult as you might think.

1. "Oblivion", Patrick Wolf, The Bachelor (Part One) feat. Tilda Swinton

Features the mighty Tilda Swinton talking some motivational nonsense, in tones reminiscent of the White Queen. At the bridge, Tilda intones:
Wait a second: have you come so far for it to end like this?This is the challenge: I dare you to take a hold of that darkness from deep down in you. Get back up! What are you so afraid of?
Is that a rhetorical question, Tilda? Because the answer is clearly you, you sexual snow leopard.

2. "Between My Legs", Rufus Wainwright, Release the Stars, feat. Sian Phillips

For my money, far outstrips "Oblivion" which imitates its sublime example. Sian reads phenomenally well - ethereal and disturbing, providing the perfect counterpoint to the glam rock body, transitioning to the Phantom of the Opera organ strains of the conclusion.

There is a river running underground, underneath the town, towards the sea, that only I know all about, on which, from this city we can flee.
Apparently, Rufus concocted this story to entice some young man back to his apartment. It didn't work. But what a lovely flowing rhythm those prepositions create: under, underneath, towards, on which, from this...

3. "Invisible Light", Scissor Sisters, Night Work, feat. Sir Ian McKellan

Babylon: where bricks of mortar and diamonds tower, sailor's lust and swagger lazing in the moon's beams, whose laser gaze penetrates this sparkling theatre of excess and strobed light. Painted whores. Sexual gladiators. Fiercely old party children. All waked from their slumber to debut the Baccara. Come into the light! Into the light! The invisble light!
Amazing. It reminds me of a Mallarmé poem - particularly with the self-referential gestures towards its own linguistic 'theatre of excess', and a babelian/babylonian discoball dissemination of the logos. Sexual gladiators, indeed...


I think it's quite interesting theses are all queer acts - is there something essentially queer about both this kind of pseudo-citation, and Shakespearean soliloquy? A desire to return to the past, to the theatre, as a source of meaning and comfort? Or is it just star fucking of the the most pretentious kind?

Let us know what you think. You can listen to the spotify playlist of these tracks here.

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