Mercury Rev – Holes [Song-A-Day; 8th April 2010]


Time, all the long red lines, that take
Control, of all the smoke-like streams that flow into your
Dreams, that big blue open sea, that can’t be
Crossed, that can’t be climbed, just born
Between, oh the two white lines, distant gods and faded
Signs, of all those blinking lights, you had to pick the one tonight…

Holes, dug by little moles, angry jealous
Spies, got telephones for eyes, come to you as
Friends, all those endless ends, that can’t be
Tied, oh they make me laugh, and always make me
Cry, until they drop like flies, and sink like polished
Stones, of all the stones i throw,
How does that old song go?
How does that old song go..?

The news that Mercury Rev were to play this years Castle Palooza festival in Tullamore reminded me of my love for this track, which to me, is their finest moment.

Sometimes in life we slip away from where we see ourself, youthful exuberance gives way to a subtle ambling, as we meander along life’s network of avenues until the plans we have made serve as nothing more than a nagging reminder of where we could and perhaps should have gone to. In the face of such a fate, we are left to contemplate the intelligible intricacies of the world, the very forces which have explicitly led us to this point, yet are seemingly as intangible as the wind which surrounds us; present solely for a fleeting moment. To me, this song represents that moment of realisation, where the downfall of one’s plans and ambitions, are coupled, bitter-sweetly, with the sheer vastness of the world we live in and the dull acceptance of a force bigger than us.

Whether it’s the loss of a loved one or the failing of a relationship, the subject matter is entirely subjective, and as with many great songs the words can be construed so as to fit a myriad of personal situations. The overriding emphasis however, is a mournful lament at the wonder of life, how it drags us along as we try to make those “endless ends” meet.

Dreamy, contemplative and full of potent imagery, this is a life-affirming piece of music and a true classic.


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