Sunday, July 7, 2013

Currently listening to...

..."Milking The Cow" by Scottish group Mouth Music, fronted by Martin Swan.

This song, a stunning anthropological study, came from their second release, 1993's "Mo-Di" (a phonetic spelling of the French word "maudit" which means "cursed"). It is one of the most profound pop songs ever recorded; it reminds me a lot of Peter Gabriel's work on "Security" in which he examined the lives of African tribesmen through the lens of Carl Jung. Here, Mouth Music sing about the most fundamental relationship: that of human being to animal and earth. Indigenous people have always drawn their mythology and cosmology from the environment around them and this is a beautiful, breathtaking expression of that. If a tribe comes from the jungle, they will have a pantheon of plant-based gods and jungle animal spirits in their cosmology. If a people come from an island or a seaside area, you can bet that their cosmology will include the sea, as well as sea creatures, as a spiritual force. If a tribe comes from an arid savannah with not much vegetation and only a handful of animals, then their cosmology centers on what sustains them and gives them life, much like the relationship between the Plains Indians of the United States and the buffalo. Take a listen to this powerful, moving song:


Spirit moving, living, breathing
Healing motion, feeling devotion

Under the desert sun
Two hearts beat as one
Rhythm of the living drum
Milking the cow
Pray for the rain to come
Blessings from the one
Milking the cow

Behold the shifting sand
The riches of our land
Life flows through our hands
Milking the cow
Beneath the darkened sky
Hear the spirit cry

To feed the cow is to praise the hand of God that moves before us
To milk the cow is to worship the spirit that breathes within us
To kill the cow is to accept the darkness deep within us
To spurn the cow is to spurn the gift of God that gives us life
Milk the cow and feel the rhythm that beats inside us
Touch the cow and feel the spirit that moves within us
Kill the cow and feel the sorrow that lies before us
In blood we are born, blood of the cow redeems us

Spirit moving, living, breathing
Healing motion, feeling devotion
Spirit moving, living, breathing
Healing motion, feeling devotion
Milking the cow

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