Daphne Lee Martin Shares Lyric Video For “Saint Ambrose Kills His Darlings”

Feels
Futility and frustration are a big theme on this album. Not the kind where you just give up on everything. The kind where you know that the ripples you create here and now may not be felt or make the world any better within your own lifetime. The kind of knowing that you need to realize that you’ll get maybe 10% back on what you put into many things. But not the kind where you can simply say “fuck it”. Not to be too Dorothy Parker about life, but it really is what you expect it to be, in the end. If you decide to create troubles, drama, scenes, you will live in hell long before you die. And we all, artists and students and factory workers and dentists and philosophers and menwomenchildren and folks going through grief of any kind or transition of any kind, all feel it sometimes. The human condition. How we handle ourselves when the heat comes up is entirely on us and it shows our true character.

Playahs
David Keith on drums, Isaac Young on sax, organ, rhodes and ewi, Anjanine Bonet on fiddle and vocals, Brad Bensko on bass and vocals, Graham Thompson on vocals, Gary Buttery on tuba, DLM on timpani and sequenced drums, synths, vocals and piano.

Lyrical, Production & Music Notes
Saint Ambrose was a 4th century bishop of Milan credited with promoting “antiphonal chant”, a style of chanting where one side of a choir responds alternately to the other. Bees and beehives often appear in his symbology because of the legend that as an infant, a swarm of bees settled on his face while he lay in his cradle, leaving behind a drop of honey.

Bees make a number of appearances on this record, they were the riddle by which Samson ultimately met his demise as well. Bees are also a large part of early American literature and I’ve referenced a few traditional plantation proverbs here, some of the many teaching tools that use the work ethics and values of insects. The reference to Killing One’s Darlings comes from Faulkner, and in my way I see this song as an exercise in putting away perfect (unattainable) ideals in favor of accepting both your limitations and your responsibility to rise above them. The two spoken pieces are from Henry Miller and Anais Nin.
I’m not gonna lie, I fucking LOVE Ani DiFranco. And ‘part of (her) pours out of me in these lines from time to time’. In this case, it’s a moment from Swan Dive that makes its way into my chorus.

I also love Peter Gabriel. Anyone that has already hear either my cover of TV On The Radio’s Ambulance or Magnetic Fields’ The Book Of Love knows how hard I lean on his production. It’s actually become a running joke within the band that we really need to start bring a tree on the road with us so we can have it in the middle of the stage and I can walk around it and touch it for effect during particularly moving songs because I love this concert so much. You can feel it in the end of this tune.


Lyrics
there is no use setting fires for the sake of walking coals
you can hide the flames but what will you do about the smoke?
in the folding bellows then out among the combs
a haze to calm my weary soul and soothe my aching bones

will you make your darlings your doubts and throw a match on oil
and make this unholy mistake?
or will you lay everything down
on the one in a million chance that you have what it takes
to fly through the candle and not burn in the flame?

you can try and tame me, make me your queen
but it is the wise bee makes more honey than he needs
beautiful to see her when she opens to the day
but the blossom’s only sweetest once the bee has had his way

there is a fire that we all must walk through

 

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