tag : bright yellow-green apples: February 2005

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Friday, February 25, 2005

mild surrender

figure 1.8. won't you tell me how to get to

I'm off tomorrow for the annual SCM conference weekend, so this'll have to do you until I get back. Tonight I shall be preaching on the subject of compromise.

Compromise seems to be a dirty word these days. Some declare the truth of God to be antithetical to any sense of it, and that avoiding it is worth breaking relationships over. As I write, it seems that the Anglican Church is making moves for a formal split, however temporary, because of an inability to hold their variance in tension. Some declare truthfulness with self to be so high that we cannot contemplate it. There is a rising cult of consumer enlightenment where you shop for your self-realisation without looking to either side. At the very least, our fairly individualistic leaning, in general, in our west means that it's implicitly avoided if we're to fulfil our personal potential.

I want to suggest that the lost art of compromise needs to be taken seriously. When we have relating with others, then there is sense in which we relativise any wilful individual claims to do anything without regard. We have to make our very self relative in order to really interact with more than a superficial air. Yes let's have our differences, and love them deeply, but let's not allow this to justify self-indulgent and self-righteous fragmentation into niche groups. The Church, for example, has a tendency to schism every time it comes across a difficult situation.

As community comes under some pretty difficult strains and changes, I would hope that people don’t simply atomise further by this pattern. To live in a dynamic of give-and-take, whilst having something you believe in utterly, might be an increasingly rare commodity if we're not careful.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

letter from N.I.

After mildly agitating, I also managed to get hold of a tape from Mary of her doing the acoustic thing. With few preconceptions (other than what I got from Martin), and only the desire to experience a friend's creativity, I was a pleasant surprised.

The first half, ranging through Hallelujah, Both sides now, Say hello wave goodbye, Peace on earth, and Hurt, is a fairly straight take on the originals with simple guitar accomonyment. What particularly marked them out to me was the vocals, which show a great range. I would hesitate to say it was a case of Mariah Carey-esc swoops, but the scope of effects showed great versatility - from restrained whisper to loud bursts (I was listening on a walkman so got the full volume effect!). Sensitive and restrained, after a couple of listens I can safely say I'll be putting them on with almost the regularity of my Aviator CDs.

The second half showed a more playful spirit. There was a self-penned creation, I, that shared some tone and theme with the preceding selection. However, it had a more clearly personal telling, with a fair bit of emotional pathos in the sound and lyrics - combined with the sharply various singing, they were quite affecting. I was walking in the snow at the time for full whimsical effect, as the last guitar noodlings played out. Then it was the much-anticipated cover of Brick in the wall, a collaborative effort with her sister. It's got lots of defiant umph and a wry attitude, somehow managing to make Pink Floyd sound less up their arse (always a good thing). And lastly there was an abstract vocal duet, Mr Zebmoo-a. It did a pretty good job of ranging around various attitudes and moods, like a condensed tribute to Medulla by Bjork spliced with Tori Amos. I might confess that this was my favourite piece, what with it being the most tangential of the tracks.

It came in a clear plastic case, and clearly needed some visual sprucing up. So this is a cover I've got on the go, adapted for the delights of the internet by the wonders of "paint". That's neither exhaustive nor coherent, but such were my initial impressions. Quick, everyone request their own tape at the same time!

Monday, February 21, 2005

the rest

figure 9.1. look a little to the left of this

Now I've done my favour, with that rather well written review, I can get back to being self-indulgent again! As part of my drive to stretch my wings a bit, I've been looking out for eccentric poetry. And late last year, came across a real gem. It's a collection of some of the works of Zbigniew Herbert, a Polish writer who has a beautiful sense of verse to deal with religious and social issues of his day (mid 20th Centaury) that still seem to speak now. I could quote many from it, but The Seventh Angel strikes me as particularly fine. Here's the pivotal fragment in it:

is black and nervous
and has been fined many times
for illegal import of sinners

between the abyss
and the heavens
without rest his feet go pit-a-pat

his sense of dignity is non-existent
...he is not like the others"

Our religions, both sacred (eg Christianity) and secular (eg. socialism), offer a vision of the best - of what might be if we have total hope. Whether that's completely egalitarian societies or paradise, we have images amongst us that tell of our ultimate hopes. But they can easily ascend into the high abstract discourse that sees little change in the here-and now, due to impossible standards and messianic hopes waited upon.

What I appreciate most about the figure presented to us by Herbert, is that Shemkel's totally pragmatic. The perfection we look to might be a barrier to people in some eyes. The unapproachable holiness of the God of faith, that cannot be approached without the right belief. The self-righteous rhetoric that denounces designated enemies, certain bourgeoisie demons, in a revolutionary activism. But he just gets on with making the best, as a flawed worker of the light, for the flawed people he cares about. He's the unseen, quietly radical, figure that tries to conjure the best in our messy world. He's the guardian angel of the rest of us, that live a compromised life.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

basement blues

So I'm pottering around online on a Saturday night, and I get a message from Mary. She's reviewed the songs that Martin sent her, and wants me to post her comments up (what with her site playing up and Martin's being deemed innapropriate). This feels like an inbred den of mutual congratulation. But it might actually get me some comments here again, and it's always nice to be in the middle of some artsy discussion - no matter the taint of cronyism. So with further adoo, here it goes something like this...


A loverly tape by Martin White and assorted mates, reviewed by moi.

This tape has been in my tape player for several days now, but I only got round to reviewing it now. For those of you who do not know martin, his blog is linked somewhere to your right. He is a very nice personne I met on the talkback forum, who writes songs and sings and plays them and so forth. I’ve heard a few of his songs on mp3, but this is the first time I’ve had a whole lot of them together on tape! 27, no less! *is very happy* so let’s get to it, shall we? :-)

1. By your side. This is really just a bit of a tune cos Martin explains he hasn’t got round to recording the rest of it, but it’s an exceptionally gorgeous tune so I would recommend he records the rest of it!

2. Fel sel. Really nice kind of plinky tune. (for want of a better adjective!) Beautiful singing. I haven’t described Martin’s voice yet, it’s lovely, quite a big range and just a sort of gentleness to it. And sometimes he goes into little moaney bits (which I’m assured is a technical term) which are wonderful. Great lyrics too.

3. Salo This has a really good trance-y ness to it. I’m not sure what the proper genre is for it, it’s just random and very relaxing. Slightly hypnotic, what with the words “lilo halo” being repeated by one martin while another martin does a tune over the top of them. Way too technical for me to understand how that’s recorded! Apparently this freaks his dog out though. This is the song my mum said she liked, but thought martin must have been “on something” when he wrote it. :-P Not the kind of music I usually enjoy, but it has a peacefulness that seeps into you after a while and it’s well done.

4. B-mystic First thing that strikes you about this one is the brilliant guitar riff at the start, really good. Great lyrics again, very short.

5. A move Another slight change in genres here, this one is more funky, really good electric guitar. The lyrics are great yet again, poetry. Just so cool and random “There cannot be another terracotta army”

6. Don’t be so sad. This one appears to have bit of a history behind it, we’re back to the acousticness. More lovely plinky guitar and lovely lyrics “Can’t see a world through carpet signs”

7. Katie Coathanger. Best title off the whole tape! :-) Samples bits of crufts dog show, which I was sceptical about at first but they actually fit in very well with the folksy guitar playing.

8. I think you need space. Another spurt of amazing lyrics (does this guy ever write crap ones, i wonder?!) and slow, plucked guitar. Very nice and very short.

9. (you’ve had a) Long day. Really good twangy guitar coupled with (guess what) yet more great lyrics. Really Martin, you’ve got a career in poetry if the music/criminology thing doesn’t work out…

10. Headwire. This is, I think, my fave song off the whole tape. Lyrics, as per usual, exceptional, fantastic tune, good guitar and drums accompaniment…it rocks! Above all, the tune is lovely. It manages to be repetitive without being boring, and the piano part soars above it all as martin sings beautifully, and then it gradually fades away. Wonderfulness.

11. Colourblind. A cover originally by the counting crows, this is also a fab song. Lovely words, lovely tune, and the bit in the middle is beautiful, when the piano has a solo for a moment and then the whole thing starts again.

12. Water by the island. Fantastic guitar riff here, rock like and menacing. And again, killer words. But short.

13. She’s a mystery to me. A cover of a veeery obscure U2 song. It’s gorgeous, apparently it’s being played at about a fifth of the intended speed, but it’s lovely this way, laid back and the lyrics are sung very clearly and matter-of-factly, sounds really good. And in the middle martin takes it into a version of the hymn “I surrender all”, which is typical of the randomness that makes up this tape, and is fantastic. The perfect soundtrack to staring out of the window aimlessly, as I am doing at this moment in time. Beeyoootiful.

14. Tearing up the sky. Another song, another great guitar riff. This guy is better than guitar than I could be unless I gained twice the number of fingers and received intensive lessons from Eric Clapton for 12 years.

15. Midsummer. Samples R.E.M to great effect, another vibey one to kick off side 2. The drawled “heyyyy” at the start is wonderful, which precedes more fab lyrics from Mr White. “You severed all your pain in a chipboard coat” is my favourite line.

16. Fall in line. A really great tune which has a slightly sinister tone to it, and again, good words. I’m sure it’s making boring reading to have to repeat this for every song, but it’s true! The coolest line in this one: “I overprotect you like God”.

17. Bridlig haze. Lots of beautiful moaney bits to be had here. As well as a funky bassline and exorcist sound bites! What more does a song need?

18. Is it my turn. More sinister sounding guitar, this time on an electric. And played very well. Especially in the later bits when it gets louder. Luverly lyrics, as always.

19. Beautiful psycho. Gorgeous tune. And nice guitar. Also very restful and good cloud-watching music.

20. Brazenkid. Ploddingness and incomprehensible but intriguing vocals. I admit it’s not me fave, but it’s well done, if you like that sort of thing. Has a hypnotic quality about it. And the lyrics, although indistinguishable in the actual piece, are fantastic. “Virtually sliding from your ruins, That darken my faith.”

21. Clair de Lune. By Debussy, this guitar and piano version is well arranged and very pretty. My dad paraphrased Chairman Mao upon hearing it, “Let a thousand flowers bloom, let a thousand versions contend”. So there you go.

22. (soundtrack to a) Car advert. Most car advert like. The tingle of anticipation at the start, followed by the rhythm of the car driving around. All it lacked were the “oohs” and “ahhs” of jealous car-owners across the land and the little guy at the end who says things like “VAT is 20 million pounds” impossibly fast.

23. I said so. Another fantastic riff coupled with more great lyrics, beginning with the somewhat aggressive “chew you round my mouth”.

24. Cut. More tuneful gorgeousness. And lyrical loveliness. I have to say though, without the lyrics in front of me, I’d be a bit screwed. The lyrics “trapped in this body” sounded to me like “trapped in this sporran”, which is a kilt accessory. Confusion! Still, nicely, if a bit incomprehensibly, sung.

25. a-w-p-w. This song has a wonderful tune, one of the best ones on the tape. Just simple acoustic fantabulousness. Another lot of incredible lyrics to go with it too, “you scream and you target, like a ten force gale”.

26. afraid of heights. More funky bass riffs and well played drums. I’m annoyed cos I know I recognise the tune whistled at the start of this song, I’m just not sure from where. And the wonderful verse: “I can’t sleep for the roses I see, Window passionflower and brakes are canvas, here and I adore, the tide replaced by smoke, here is everywhere, the tide replaced my smoke.” It’s another mellow one, with a melancholy undercurrent going through it. Fab.

27. pesh’s confession. And here we have a short bit of random siliness to end the tape: the words “I used to be a nun” repeated over a mellow backdrop of tunefulness.

So, overall, I can safely say (whilst taking the time to apologise for the profound lack of different adjectives in this review) that martin’s tape is the coolest, oddest thing I have heard for quite some time. Some of the songs were a wee bit short and martin’s voice, whilst lovely throughout, was a bit incomprehensible from time to time. But I’m picking holes really: with wonderful lyrics, well thought out and beautiful tunes and really well played guitar and piano and all the rest of it, as well as a highly random streak, this tape rocks. So well done martin and assorted mates. :-)

Friday, February 18, 2005

get the boot in

"If you are unsure whether or not Jesus is the second person of the Trinity you can be a Methodist. If you think God is just as likely to be absent as present in the Eucharist you can be a Methodist...But you cannot be a Methodist if you think it proper to exclude anyone else on any of the above grounds."

I believe Stanley Hauerwas was being derogatory here. But to be honest, there’s much in that quote which strikes me as a pretty good advert for my denomination. With so much doctrine and values thrown around, maybe it's positive that there's a fairly un-neurotic side to us. Of course it's more complex than being a pretty good affirming diverse church - we do tend to suffer from a distinct lack of identity, apart from in terms of what social stuff we do. It's one of the greatest challenges, to seek out a way of combining a deeply held sense of affirming faith with a communal interaction that allows for honest variance - especially with so few people actually all that fussed by chapels.

I'd be particularly interested to hear what any Methodists out there think, but any comments - as always- welcome.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

overheated issue

The best bit of writing I've found all week comes courtesy of George Monbiot. Here's an extract that strikes me as particularly sharp:

"The denial of climate change, while out of tune with the science, is consistent with, even necessary for, the outlook of almost all the world's economists. Modern economics, whether informed by Marx or Keynes or Hayek, is premised on the notion that the planet has an infinite capacity to supply us with wealth and absorb our pollution. The cure to all ills is endless growth. Yet endless growth, in a finite world, is impossible. Pull this rug from under the economic theories, and the whole system of thought collapses

And this, of course, is beyond contemplation. It mocks the dreams of both left and right, of every child and parent and worker. It destroys all notions of progress. If the engines of progress - technology and its amplification of human endeavour - have merely accelerated our rush to the brink, then everything we thought was true is false. Brought up to believe that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, we are now discovering that it is better to curse the darkness than to burn your house down."

Enough said. On a lighter note, I'm trying not to be smug in tone as a foxhunting ban is now just around the corner. At last, they finally get on and put a stop to a pretty loathsome practice.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Abelard's therapy

figure 6.1. what goes around

Better you were to me than I was to myself
but what water we were I'm against it still,
the turn on love is patience and thousand lies
while sleepless still loves we cannot sleep still with,
are breathless but still lives we cannot breathe with,
til doubt gives in fear and throws the first light stone
against names we never made, and loving break
~from A garden of Tears III, by Drew Milne

All around us today is the gilded gloss of romantic gesture, even if a lot of us get by without any notice. Perhaps that's a relief in some ways, given how schmaltzy and glossily shopping-based the whole shebang is. But still, it gets a lot of people thinking about love and companionship - so I thought I'd cast my stone in here.

There was a very well thought through article in the paper today, and personally helpful toboot. The gist was that though love (particularly unrequited feelings) may be destabilising - even threatening to our whole sense of well-being - there should be affirmation of the passion and risk in following emotion. I know myself how difficult the course of love can be, and some of the shaking effects that can result - there's massive challenges that I wouldn't wish on anyone. Yet, despite my utter cynicism today in singing along to bloody minded and defiant music on my walkman, whether the smallest gesture of interest or the grandest expression of affection, I would still encourage the gesture of tokens on a day like this. Provided there are ways of circumnavigating the commercial-fest, in cards, flowers, food, personal stuff, or whatever, I think there's loads of value in the rituals and object-expressions in romance.

What becomes of the embodied associations that these objects and tokens accumulate? One of the most affecting films I've watched for a long time was Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind. It's an incredibly poignant tale of two people who decide, after falling out of affection, to erase their memories of relationship - to wipe all that they've been through together. What's left are small reminders, fragments of memory and gaps in thought and their journals. Afterwards they find so much confusion and melancholy in tracing through the clues they left behind, and such hardship coming to terms with what they had done to each other - the sheer violence of erasing someone from their stories. Yet somehow they find redemption, and mutual grace, traced through even the innocuous little tokens that survived as a thread of care where wilful destruction of their narratives had occurred.

This has got all heavy. Essentially my message is; if you can find a way to express romance - or any feelings about anyone in any way - through the things that express sacramentally incarnate values, meanings, and messages - then there's untold value to be found in doing so. Go for it, with any excuse.

Friday, February 11, 2005


I want to write emails to a lot of people, but have no time to untill after the weekend (got an SCM meeting). So for now, I'll just say hellow to you all.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

ashes to…

figure 7.2. do well to remember

Ask me why I chose this image and you'll get a tirade about how I spent half an hour looking for a picture of some ash. Be warned! Now, onto things...

I've got a lot of respect for the Ikon community, from what I've encountered of them so far at the Greenbelt festival. Last year a guy from them came and did a talk on knowing & unknowing, mystery & explicit faith that was probably the highlight of the weekend. And the year before they organised a worship gathering (let's not be all hip alt worship in calling it an event!) that proved to be valuable. The gist of it revolved around us each selecting an image with meaning, that carried personal resonance of memories, that communicated something of our selves. What we are and what we wish to be, what we value and what we regret. What we saw of the divine. We then wrote on it and invested it with specific values, before taking it outside and putting it on a fire. These tokens were burnt.

We each received a part of the resulting ashes at the end, and I still have mine sat in my shrine. It carries a lot of resonance, in terms of repentance and memory, not taking anything about life in the light of the divine for granted or as given. Dreams may be consumed by flames, leading to the space for new dreams. There's something of what it means to come to terms with the past, to carry what I regret and need grace over as I look forward in hope, and find resolution and liberation through living. We do, after all, receive the mark of the cross on us today as a sign of the restoration - there's summit about Ash Wednesday in there, maybe this fragment of liturgy from the service will help:

the consecration of the ashes

we remember the words of your holy prophets.

leader: the people who walked in darkness
people: have seen a great light
leader: on those who lived in a land dark as death
people: a light has dawned
leader: you have turned our laments into dancing
people: you have stripped off our sackcloth and clothed us with joy
leader: you have not left us in the ashes
people: but have lifted us to a place of esteem

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

formulaic nature

figure 9.7. make someone special with a…

I'm currently reading Understanding theology and popular culture by Gordon Lynch, cos I'm going to review it for SCM's Movement magazine. While walking round the charity shops yesterday I was reflecting on a chapter discussing the meaning & role of consumption in our lives today. And there's one thread which strikes me as particularly notable. In it he starts off by looking at how consumption, the searching & purchasing, is becoming ever more a means of finding & creating identity, forming a sense of self. He quotes a commentator's observations:

"Rather than inflexibly adopting a lifestyle, through tradition or habit, the new heroes of consumer culture make lifestyle a life project and display their individuality and sense of style in the particularity of the assemblage of goods, clothes, practices, experiences, appearance and bodily dispositions they design together into a lifestyle. the modern individual within consumer culture is…the world of men and women who quest for the new and the latest in relationships and experiences, who have a sense of adventure and take risks to explore life's opinions to the full, who are conscious that they have only one life to live and must work hard to enjoy, experience, and express it"

Now this is all slightly exaggerated, but it's a good breezey take and there are some important resulting points. Now some people, notably Pete Ward, say in no uncertain terms that this new consumer world must be come to terms with - that religions must configure themselves to serve the way society seems to be leading. To be a faith of choice and lifestyle construction, so that we might speak it's language. To some extent, alpha is an example of the emerging adoption of consumer practice as a framework for relating to wider society. But when I read that extract, I found myself a bit disturbed by how accurately it seems to capture the mood of things, and how I readily conform to that whole approach. Why? Because, as the book goes on to explore, (1) consumption is not a neutral activity without implications, (2) consumption is far from a devolved activity but contains a latent deceit, and (3) consumption as a widespread approach to life disenfranchises vast swaths of people.

(1) In going out to purchase our commodities and our life, we are sheltered from the outcomes of what we are doing. Walking into a supermarket, the labels and foodstuffs will not easily betray the repercussions of the processes to get them to us. Buy a bunch of flowers for valentines day, as an expression of your love for someone, and you will probably never know how many air miles got it over from Kenya, the economic loss from outsourcing and poor worker treatment, and how much native biodiversity was lost to provide its growing space. No matter how much we might be rationally informed, the sheen of presentation positively reduces the sense of responsibility and outcome, and encourages us to do things in a state of forgetfulness about results. (2) We are presented with a cacophony of options in everything from spirituality to soundtracks, such that when we're told that ever greater choice is there we actually swallow the line. And yet, there is ever greater standardisation in media. Music is a product, and great proportions of it is calculated by how much money it will make. The supposed variety of tv broadcasting and news print is whittled down to ever fewer media empires, such as Rupert Murdoch's. The constructing we do is carried out within very defined guidelines set by producers, 'purchase power' is absorbed into the system and simply fuels the standardisation of every part of our life. Some activity work to make a commodity of every part of life. (3) What do we do when we don't have enough income or time to devote our resources into constructing a meaning? We become outsiders to this new religion because we cannot take part in the rituals and stories. There is plenty of chance for disenfranchisement - just look at how many children will feel bereft if they don't have the right toy or cloths and you see it explicitly in action. We tend to be devalued if we cannot or will not go out and dutifully shop, actively eak out our lifestyle. I don’t want to brandish bar codes as the work of the beast, but this is hardly some great utopia unfolding.

It would be unwise to be unconditionally vitriolic about 'consumer culture', there are aspects of it we now take for granted - the freedom to explore outside boundaries, to encounter new, and to interact and share by personal choice. And there are ways of doing religion that might well serve people through this approach, with integrity. But we must be concerned when all around us the mantra of the day is "choice" and markets are extended into every part of our society. This new religion or enlightenment, where our government spouts "equality of opportunity" as a total mantra is not simply benign 'freedom'. It can be dehumanising and contains elements that are ambivalent and deeply hostile to healthy relating & self view. Active critique is needed by a prophetic religion, we cannot buy into it wholesale.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

insider looking in

figure 5.7. following our missing spirit

There’s a heck of a lot of themes gone through in this latest entry by Ruth Ann. So I might take others on later, but I’m going to pick one thread out for now and see what might be made of it:

“I have been observing a rather curious thing of late. Those friends of mine who are considered "spiritual" or those seeking to be "postmodern" in the way they practice their faith, often prefer the arts to the sciences, prefer intuition to logical thought. They're happy to sit on a cushion and meditate the day away.”

Let me a give a little background, including my own story, that might help in considering this. I come from the Methodist Church - despite having High Anglo-Catholicist instincts , Methodism’s written into my spiritual DNA from an early age. And speaking from within my denomination, let me tell you I’m far from a compliant family member! In fact, I’m often to be heard grumbling to myself in a corner out of loyalty to our great heritage. We are a church obsessed with words, everything is shaped around them. The pulpit is in the centre of the Church - physically and metaphorically. We all sit facing the front while singing songs and hearing the central block of the service, which is a sermon. We have endless meetings, countless magazines and discussion pamphlets. When there’s a chance to participate in a service, it’s either choosing a reading or a song. In serving the Methodist Church, you become a local preacher. You talk.

Where is the balance in this? Yet us Methodists are not the only ones, merely the most symptomatic church that draws attention to something in the wider western Church. On the whole, religion is still stuck in a very imbalanced way of doing things. It’s still overwhelmingly about concepts, ideas, doctrine, discussion, talking, reading. It’s a sea of words and conscious thinking. There are many of us across the spectrum who are seeking ways to escape from that, to try and find a way to (1) express who we are and what interests us in personal and varied ways (2) draw out a space in faith for reacquainting ourselves with image, the arts, and intuition.

There’s a lot of lost ground here, a lot of unmapped territory. Maybe that’s why it might seem as if in this time of ‘postmodern’ freedom, many of us seeking spiritual liberation look as if we’re doing-down rationality and science. In actual fact we’ve just had experiences of the utter tyranny of conscious wordyness and are seeking to reclaim what’s been denied us. We’re on a pilgrimage searching for balanced spirituality too, it’s just that for some of us balance means a temporary focus through the arts and non-rationality. I say this as someone who makes pictures and holds a Bsc., I have experience from both perspectives here.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

the personal and the general

Figure 1.4. I decided to choose this picture instead of the cover, it's better

I’ve already been going on about her a bit recently, but have had the latest album by P.J. Harvey on nearly every day for the last couple of weeks. Deliberately calling your album an unpronounceable name like Uh Huh Her might not be the best way to endear yourself, but the wilful playing around and varied mixture of styles has won me over.

From open defiance, bloody minded rage, and touching pathos, to sad apathy, utter devotion, and sensitive tributes, there's a whole range of sentiments. This is a great chronicle of relating to others when in the thrall of our very human emotions, and unwillingly captured by life‘s difficult challenges. Particularly notable is the finale, “The Desperate Kingdom of Love”, which I find very opportune at the moment (gender altered as appropriate):

Oh love, you were a sickly child
And how the wind knocked you down
Put on your spurs, swagger around
In the desperate kingdom of love

Holy water cannot help you now
Your mysterious eyes cannot help you
Selling your reason will not bring you through
The desperate kingdom of love

There's another who looks from behind your eyes
I learn from you how to hide
From the desperate kingdom of love

At the end of this burning world
You'll stand proud, face upheld
And I'll follow you, into Heaven or Hell
And I'll become, as a girl
In the desperate kingdom of love