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Threesome: Vampire Love Songs

November 23, 2008

stephin-merritt

Guest blogger Scott writes:

Knowing the z=z audience, I have no doubt that you all rushed out to see Twilight opening night. Twice. And so, to tide you over until you head back mid-week for a third bite of undead Cedric Diggory, I offer a trio of vampire love songs.

[debcha notes: The above is a fine example of Scott’s famously arid sense of humor. However, if you are a Twilight fan who somehow ended up here, I suggest that you go read this article. Now.]

Stephin Merritt’s “I Have The Moon” is, like most of his work, an exceedingly well-written and composed song. But, as with Tom Waits and Nick Cave, sometimes his…unique vocal sound works for him and sometimes against him. I find that “I Have The Moon” falls into the ‘against’ category. But Brit-pop band Lush steps in to tighten a few of the screws and make the spectral quality of the original yet more ethereal. As an aside, Lush is credited with being one of the first bands in the “shoegazing” genre, and I can’t recommend heartily enough that you check out the striking graph toward the bottom of the linked page. (I can only hope that no one has changed it between my writing and your reading this.)

AA Bondy offers a similar story with “Oh The Vampyre.” But instead of Lush’s reinterpretation of Merritt’s moody indie rock, Bondy edges his already folkier style in the direction of blues. I’m in favor of adding harmonica to anything, but it still surprised me how effectively it ramps up the lament quotient on lyrics that would seem more at home with strings and maybe an oboe.

I’ll come clean—those were the only two songs I had in mind in putting this together. I went looking for a third and pulled up some perfectly mediocre options, like Annie Lennox’s “Love Song For A Vampire” or The Deadbeats’  “Vampire Love” (which is chronically misattributed to The Misfits). Fortunately, my one spark of inspiration—that some clever-clever singer/songwriter must have stumbled upon the song title “Bloodlust”—was well-rewarded. Admittedly, Lauren Shera is undeniably folk minus the ‘rock’ modifier I’d apply to AA Bondy, so this isn’t exactly typical fare for z=z. Also, “Blood Lust” isn’t quite a vampire love song; it’s more of a love song that is vampire-adjacent. Sorry. I like it anyway.

[debcha adds: The photo is of Stephin Merritt, mostly because I couldn’t stomach doing an image search with the keywords ‘vampire’ and ‘love.’]

MP3: Lush – I Have the Moon

MP3: AA Bondy – Oh The Vampyre

MP3: Lauren Shera – Bloodlust

8 comments

  1. >>> I can only hope that no one has changed it between my writing and your reading this.

    Impressively, someone did. But since all they appear to have changed was the color of the bars, the chart remains nearly devoid of information.


  2. Hmm… Does Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) by Concrete Blonde count as a love song? I’ve loved the song since I was in college, and I reread the lyrics a bunch today, but I’m and idiot savant (minus the savant) when it comes to understanding lyrics. It is also the same reason I don’t read poetry unless it is by Ogden Nash or begins with a line like “There once was a man from Nantucket.”


  3. I don’t know. It definitely could be a love song, but it could also be the vampire equivalent of an “I resent my father” song.


  4. It might be a ‘formerly-in-love’ song, but I think I’m going to have to go with Scott’s interpretation.


  5. Stephin Merritt has a new musical version of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline! – http://www.mcctheater.org


    • I know! And I’m sure it will be amazing. Unfortunately, I’m on the wrong coast this year – still hoping I might find an excuse to visit the East Coast and go see it.


  6. can u publish the lyrics of Oh the vampire i cant founded . and really like it !


  7. Sorry, Kim – I don’t keep the lyrics for every song I post just lying around. But you have the song – why don’t you go ahead and transcribe the lyrics yourself?



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