I Am Stretched On Your Grave

14 07 2009

The more you know me the more you’ll realize I get these little music battles going on in my mind. Today’s ‘royale is that I can’t decide which is a better version of the 17th Century Irish tone poem, I Am Stretched On Your Grave.

My first exposure to this beautiful song was when I was deep into my Gloomy Sunday/Strange Fruit phase where I was really enjoying older tunes with a dark undercurrent. Sinead O’Connor had just put out her 2nd album, I Do Not Want and as obvious from Stretched, we were knee deep in the “I’m hip because I sample James Brown’s Funky Drummer”

Then in 1994, one of my all time favorites, Dead Can Dance, put out a brilliant live CD and VHS (I now have the DVD), Toward the Within. I still have the advance gatefold copy on sepia tone that 4AD sent me. Sigh. On it Brendan does a very very stark powerful rendition that shakes you to your bones.

This video doesn’t exist

So what do you think? The Sinead version has got that great contrast of sorrow and driving. The DCD version, as usual, is very traditional yet gothic. Both versions run through my brain simultaneously. I’m torn.

Man, the 90’s were dark in my world.




One response

21 07 2009

I agree! They’re both great examples of artists covering a song and making it all their own. As you said, Sinead’s version slithers in a sorrowful way, and you feel those tears both hot and wild. Dead Can Dance’s (which I think I might opt for, if truly forced to choose) hides the sensuality more, but definitely isn’t without gut-wrenching passion. Musically, this song is a scream in the dark to try to rid your body consumed by sorrow. The decision to end with the cries of the flute/recorder (around 2:50) slay me every time.

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