Monday, November 21, 2005

Think of it as evolution in action*

So John Wesley Harding's Darwin pops up on the playlist and I had two thoughts. The first is the above title, it's taken from the Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle novel, Oath of Fealty*. Then, partway through the song, a couple white tigers in Vegas discuss eating their magicians. This caused me to wonder when the song was written - before or after Seigfroid and Roy. From this tour diary note, it looks like it was written before the mauling.

Entry #8: November 23rd 2003
Darwin: I played this song last night, and a woman asked: "How did you feel when you heard the news about Seigfrid/Roy (in the light of having written the song)?" As Max Von Sydow says in Hannah And Her Sisters, though he's talking about the holocaust: "The surprise is not that it happened, but that it doesn't happen more often." (That isn't my favourite Woody Allen dialogue, however. That's from Broadway Danny Rose and is something along the lines of:
'They shot him through the eyes'
'So he's blind?'
'No, he's dead!'
'Of course, yes, because the bullets go right through.')

From the CD D4: Swings and Roundabouts, here are the lyrics:
The tourists get into their car
And drive through the safari park
There's animals you've only seen in books
And despite the helpful warnings
(You could read them in the dark)
They decide to try and get a closer look
And they park the car and lock it cos you're better safe than sorry
And they try to make the lions look their way
And in a perfect Kodak moment, they're hunting for their car keys
As the lions come bid them all good day
And they say: Haven't you ever heard of Darwin?
Did you think we were going to run and hide?
Haven't you ever heard of Darwin?
Don't roll down your car windows
It's a jungle outside

There's white tigers in Las Vegas
Who deign to show their teeth
Sip tea from china to polite applause
And they're weighing up the gamblers
They're masters or they're meat
Provided they stay arm's length from the paws
And it's very nearly showtime, the magicians warm up backstage
And the sound effects so loud that no-one hears
As one tiger turns to the other and says: "you wanna see some magic?
Tonight it's the magicians disappear!"
And the tigers say: Haven't they ever heard of Darwin?
Did they think we'd vanish in thin air?
Haven't they ever heard of Darwin?
Don't roll down your car windows
It's a jungle out there
Further down the food chain
Closer to the ground
Scurry all the scavengers at home
You can tidy up the kitchen
And wash all of the plates
But there's always meat left somewhere on the bone
And all our tiny flatmates are waiting to inherit
The legacy we'll leave behind one night
They feed their little habit and wait with perfect patience til
There's no-one left to turn on all the lights
And they'll sing: Hadn't they ever heard of Darwin?
Now we don't have to run and hide
Hadn't they ever heard of Darwin?
Open up the windows, It's a jungle inside


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