Euphonious Fridays – Floating in the Forth


Source: Frightenedrabbit.com

If you’ve been following along with some of my previous posts for Euphonious Fridays, you might notice that I’m a fan of a lot of bands from the UK.  A lot of them have been electronic groups, but little did I know how much of a fantastic indie scene could be found within the borders of Scotland.

I was introduced to a band called Frightened Rabbit by a former coworker of mine.  We were on our way back to Kitchener from a meeting in Toronto, and he played one of their albums during the drive.  I wasn’t sure at the time which one, but I suspect it may have been the one that this song was taken from – The Midnight Organ Fight.  I recall my first impressions of the album were that the music was very layered, and the singer was very Scottish.  After checking out some more of their work, I quickly became a fan.

Singer-songwriter Scott Hutchison discussed in a 2008 interview with The Pop Cop that almost everything written for The Midnight Organ Fight was based on his state of mind at the time.  He had just gone through the ending of a long time relationship, leaving in its wake a very raw album, both in sound and writing.  “Floating in the Forth” is a song about the suicidal thoughts Hutchison experienced during the dark time following the break up.  He has spoken openly about the experience, and one can only assume that the writing of this album could have been seen as therapeutic for him.  The song talks about how he considered jumping off the bridge into the River Forth, and contains a beautiful transition in the lyrics that goes from “another day” to “another year” – read them, and you see what I mean.  In the interview, he mentioned how in the process of writing the song, he went from thinking of suicide, to realizing it wasn’t what he wanted.  The band has since released their third album in 2010, and things are a little more upbeat.  However, I felt that “Floating in the Forth” was a really powerful song and wanted to share it with you.  Besides…I just love the vocalizations at the end of the song punctuated by the drumbeat.

Enjoy!

So you just stepped out
of the front of my house
and I’ll never see you again.
I closed my eyes for a second
and when they opened
you weren’t there.
And the door shut shut
I was vacuum packed,
shrink-wrapped out of air
And the spine collapsed
and the eyes rolled back
to stare at my starving brain,

And fully clothed, I’ll float away
(I’ll float away)
Down the Forth, into the sea
I think I’ll save suicide for another day.

And I picture this corpse
on the M8 hearse
and I half run away to sleep
On a rolled up coat
against the window
with the strobe of the sun
and the life I’ve led
am I ready to leap
is there peace beneath
the roar of the Forth road bridge?
On the Northern side
is a Fife of mine
and a boat in the port for me,

And fully clothed, I’ll float away
(I’ll float away)
Down the Forth, into the sea
I’ll steer myself
through choppy waves
these manic gulls
scream it’s okay
take your life
give it a shake
gather up
all your loose change
I think I’ll save suicide for another year.

There is no official video for this song from the band, but I came across one that was highly appropriate.  It’s video footage of a group crossing the bridge over the Forth River.  It just works…

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7 thoughts on “Euphonious Fridays – Floating in the Forth

  1. I really liked this song, Suzanne, despite its dark subject matter! “Frightened Rabbit” is a great band name too…will have to look for more of their stuff. Thanks!

    Wendy

  2. I agree with you that it works, especially with the windshield wipers clearing up the rain. I don’t know that they intended any of these things, but I like the subtlety of the camera panning over to the side and then, very importantly, back to the road ahead. Initially I thought that would have been better placed corresponding to one of the lines about saving suicide for another day (or year), but the subtlety or it not doing so is more poignant.

    The light up ahead in the distance is pretty cool, too. You get to the end and realize it’s just others heading in the other direction, but by then it’s already served as a beacon getting you safely to the other side.

    That final shot of the side drew me in to the other bridge, wondering who’s over there, what they’re thinking, and whether they’re going to make it to the other side, too.

    I was also initially disappointed at the pan of the friends who seemed happy. And then it seemed to me that that is just perfect. Anyone who’s ever been in that place of feeling so broken-hearted and alone can relate to feeling that way in a crowd of friends who are having fun. Those are the people who bring you back from that, even if they aren’t aware that they’re doing so. It’s important that they were there.

    I’m spending today hanging out on my deck watching folks enjoy their boats and listening to Marley, which I actually turned down so I could listen to this video. High praise, and oh so coincidentally, when I turned it back up, Redemption Song was on. Happy post-Rapture. We made it to the other side!

    • Attempt #2 at responding to your comment. Attempt #1 was rudely interrupted by some malware trying to rapture my computer away from me. But I digress…

      I’m so glad that you liked this song. It’s truly beautiful, if not heart breaking. I don’t honestly think that the people who uploaded the video really know how profound the mix of the two pieces ended up being. But if they did, they are more brilliant than even they know. I appreciate the fact that the bridge is actually the bridge that the singer had considered jumping from.

      I got a chill down my spine when you said that Redemption Song was playing when you returned from the video. But the good kind of chill. It’s not quite Marley-weather up here in Iqaluit…still snow on the ground and ice in the bay. Once things start to warm up, I’ll feel more in tune with dear ol’ Bob and will be jammin’ the summer away. Oh, and Finley Quaye too!

  3. Pingback: Euphonious Fridays – Lippy Kids « Massively Attacked

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