Nick Cave songs explored, part #1, in which key references and tidbits found in his songs are explored, linked up, and b.s.-ed about. "Night of the Lotus Eaters" chosen as the first song because it was the first song he sang when I saw him on September 22nd in Portland, OR (his birthday). Enjoy. Night of the Lotus Eaters1 Sapped and stupid I lie upon the stones and I swoons The darling little dandelions have done their thing And changed from suns into moons2 Dragons roam the shopping malls I hear they're gonna eat our guts If I had the strength I might pick up my sword And make some attempt to resist
Get ready to shield yourself Grab your sap3 and your heaters Get ready to shield yourself On the night of the lotus eaters
Mmmmm, don't you love me baby Mmmmm, and don't you love my baby anymore
They gilded my scales, they fish-bowled me And they toured me round the old aquariums They come in their hordes to tap at the glass The philistines4 and barbarians I like floating here, it's nice They've hung seaweed around my hips And I do the hula for the hungry ones And the lames all throw me tips
Get ready to shield yourself Grab your sap and your heaters Get ready to shield yourself On the night of the lotus eaters
Mmmmm, don't you love me baby Mmmmm, and don't you love me my baby anymore
Get ready to shield yourself From our catastrophic leaders Get ready to shield yourself Grab your sap and your heaters On the night of the lotus eaters
Now hit the streets Now hit the streets
1 In Homer's famous Greek mythological tale, The Odyssey, the hero Odysseus and his crew wind up north of Cape Malea. They find a land populated by a group of forgetful people who ingest lotus flowers in order to reach a peaceful, dreamy state. The crew also ingests the potent flower, and remain in a sleepy stupor until Odysseus rescues them. These dream-inducing lotuses would most likely be blue lotuses, which produce sedation. [REF 1] [REF 2] [REF 3] 2 As in, when dandelions go from yellow, full flowers to cotton-like bits of fluff.
3 A small, stick-like weapon formerly common with law enforcement; generally a leather-wrapped lead weight. [REF]
4 In the Old Testament, perhaps Israel's worst enemy; one of the Sea People that invaded Egypt in ~1190 BC; monopolized iron goods and had tight political organization; eventually defeated by David. [REF 1] [REF 2] [REF 3]
What do I think?
This whole album could mean so many different things. Basically, I think this song is about people who could be doing more to help others (situations in whichever country one resides in, local politics, etc.), but are too caught up in a lazy, carefree life to put the effort in to get off their ass and do something about it."If I had the strength I might pick up my sword and make some attempt to resist"sounds an awful lot like someone too coddled by a simple life to really care about the goings-on in the world.
Then there's the bit about being fish-bowled, and toured 'round aquariums, and how he likes "floating here; it's nice" which makes me think it's Mr. Cave talking about how even he himself is aware that he could do more but sometimes doesn't.