SUCH AN UPBEAT TUNE, SUCH A SAD SENTIMENT

It is, of course, Remembrance Day.  If previous years are anything to go by, then Drew will post something very moving and appropriate over at his place.

I don’t ever really do anything to mark what today is all about, but I thought I’d post the second single released by British Sea Power, but their first on vinyl and their first for Rough Trade Records:-

mp3: British Sea Power – Remember Me

This dates from 2001. It’s the version that many fans have said they prefer in comparison to that re-recorded for the debut album two years later and which itself was released as a single and went to #30 in the charts.

It’s a rip-roaring, energetic and lively old tune, but it masks a sad lyric in that it is all about dementia.

Do you worry about your health
Do you watch it slowly change
And when you listen to yourself, does it feel like somebody else
And did you notice when you began to disappear
Was it slowly at first
Until there was nobody really there
Increment by increment
Increment by increment
Increment by increment

Oh remember me
Yeah remember me
Oh remember me

Yeah remember me
Oh remember me
Will you remember me?

Did half of you pass away
What about the other half
Yeah what about the other half
Whatever!
We’re all part of the same old bloody regime
With someone taking it out whilst you were putting it in
Increment by increment
Increment by increment
Increment by increment

Oh remember me
Yeah remember me
Oh remember me

Yeah remember me
Oh remember me
Will you remember me?

Oh remember me
Yeah remember me
Oh remember me

From the here and now to eternity
Will you remember me?

There was a more gentle sounding tune waiting to be found on the b-side:-

mp3: British Sea Power – A Lovely Day Tomorrow

It too would be re-recorded in later years, this time with the assistance of The Ecstasy Of Saint Theresa, a shoegaze band from the Czech Republic, and released as a limited-edition single.

mp3: British Sea Power Allied With The Ecstasy Of Saint Theresa – A Lovely Day Tomorrow

If you’re hearing the above track for the first-ever time, I envy you. It’s a real treat for the ears.

But here’s the thing…..it’s the song that really has significance for today. The subject matter is the Czech resistance against the Nazis during WWII,and in particular, the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, a high-ranking German SS official and a main architect of the Holocaust, who was ambushed by a team of Czech and Slovak soldiers who had been sent by the Czechoslovak government-in-exile to kill the Reich-Protector; the team was trained by the British Special Operations Executive.

The twist in the tale was that the Nazis falsely linked the Czech and Slovak soldiers and resistance partisans to the villages of Lidice and Ležáky. Both villages were razed; all men and boys over the age of 16 were shot, and all but a handful of the women and children were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps.

The BSP/Ecstasy of Saint Theresa single was a celebration of the entry of Czech Republic into the European Union, with a limited edition of 1,942 copies (the year the operation took place). Kateřina Winterová delivers an ever better rendition in her native tongue, on the b-side:-

mp3: British Sea Power Allied With The Ecstasy Of Saint Theresa – Zítra Bude Krásný Den

Thanks for reading.

JC

7 thoughts on “SUCH AN UPBEAT TUNE, SUCH A SAD SENTIMENT

  1. ‘Remember Me’ is my favorite BSP song. This original version is new to me, but its unbridled noisiness is awesome. Good read, too.

  2. Got loads of time for the mighty British Sea Power so was chuffed
    to hear a version new to me, as well as the b-sides.

    You’re right, JC, the team-up with The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa is
    absolutely blinding – thanks for the nudge.

    I also never made the connection between the words of Remember Me
    and dementia. Seems obvious now – and just makes the song even more
    of a winner, in either version.

    Great post.

  3. This was a wonderful treat for today. You will know that ‘lovely day tomorrow’ was a favourite of Badger and it was a song that launched our last blog. He would have loved today’s post especially on his birthday week.

    Thanks JC

  4. Thanks SWC.

    I did think fondly of Badger when I was pulling the piece together as I was aware of his thoughts on ‘Lovely Day Tomorrow’. I hadn’t, however, appreciated this was his birthday week.

  5. Getting to hear for the first time the version of ‘Lovely Day Tomorrow’ BSP with Ecstasy of Saint Theresa is why I read this blog every day. Thanks JC.

  6. Thanks, JC! I’m hearing all of these versions for the first time and they just got better and better. The lyrics to ‘Remember Me’ resonated as, like so many others, dementia is very close to home. And both fascinating and heartbreaking to read the context the back story for Another Day Tomorrow. A timely and moving post, thanks so much.

  7. An insightful article – much of which I did not know. I look forward to listening to the songs once I’m back in streaming territory.

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