Thursday, 10 July 2008

Piazza, New York Catcher

Today's track is by Belle & Sebastian, who are from Glasgow. Well known in the indie scene, Belle & Sebastian, named for a BBC children's television series (in turn based off a series of French novels) had their break into the mainstream with their third studio album, The Boy with the Arab Strap.

The track's actually off their sixth studio album, Dear Catastrophe Waitress, which to my ear represents everything that's right with Britain. It's called Piazza, New York Catcher, and deals with a baseball player leaving the game, using Mike Piazza's name as a touchpoint. Belle & Sebastian's strength is in writing light, folky songs with deceptively simple chord progressions that actually make up carefully crafted structures and pairing them with evocative and heartfelt lyrics from frontman Stuart Murdoch. I think it comes across better if you just listen to the track.

Piazza, New York Catcher

Elope with me, Miss Private, and we’ll sail around the world
I will be your Ferdinand and you my wayward girl
How many nights of talking in hotel rooms can you take?

How many nights of limping around on pagan holidays?

Oh, elope with me in private and we’ll set something ablaze
A trail for the devil to erase

San Francisco’s calling us, the Giants and Mets will play

Piazza, New York catcher, are you straight or are you gay?

We hung about the stadium, we’ve got no place to stay

We hung about the Tenderloin and tenderly you tell

About the saddest book you ever read, it always makes you cry

The statue’s crying too and well he may

I love you, I’ve a drowning grip on your adoring face

I love you, my responsibility has found a place beside you

And strong warnings in the guise of gentle words

Come wave upon me from the family wider net absurd

“You’ll take care of her, I know it, you will do a better job”

Maybe, but not what she deserves

Elope with me, Miss Private, and we’ll drink ourselves awake

We’ll taste the coffee houses and award certificates

A privy seal to keep the feel of 1960 style

We’ll comment on the decor and we’ll help the passer by

And at dusk when work is over we’ll continue the debate

In a borrowed bedroom virginal and spare

The catcher hits for .318 and catches every day

The pitcher puts religion first and rests on holidays

He goes into cathedrals and lies prostrate on the floor

He knows the drink affects his speed, he’s praying for
a doorway
Back into the life he wants and the confession of the bench

Life outside the diamond is a wrench

I wish that you were here with me to pass the dull weekend

I know it wouldn’t come to love, my heroine pretend

A lady stepping from the song we love until this day

You’d settle for an epitaph like “Walk Away, Renee”

The sun upon the roof in winter will draw you out like
a flower
Meet you at the statue in an hour

Meet you at the statue in an hour

Piazza, New York Catcher

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