It came to me this morning, as most of better ideas do, when I was running, an idea to bring a little culture and class into your tawdry lives. My ‘Jog, Piggy! Jog!’ playlist picked out Rhino Bucket ‘Even The Sun Goes Down’ and as I obsessively listened to it 5 times in a row, I contemplated the song’s deeper message and wondered where I had heard its’ ilk before. That plaintive entreaty to a bashful paramour, a plea to one so virtuous to open her heart* to all you have to give of love. It took another 1/2 mile and I got it, Andrew Marvell’s poem ‘To His Coy Mistress’; of course!
Now as a lit dude I’m big on 17th century English metaphysical poets**, that point where they really move into full self-expression and deal with some rather more risqué topics than English poetry had before. ‘To His Coy Mistress’ being a brilliant case in point, Marvell begging and pleading with his recalcitrant chick in order to get his nut. As Marvell says, he’d gladly spend hundreds of years on courtship but over his shoulder he can always hear, ‘time’s winged chariot, hurrying near’ and whilst the grave is a ‘fine and private place/ But none, I think, do there embrace’. I’m paraphrasing, but basically it’s time to put out, or lose out.
It’s wonderful stuff, perfectly phrased and constructed image-on-image, my own favourite is his reference to ‘vegetable love’ – now I’m a broad-minded sort of fellow but I swear I’ve not had a go at that^. What could be more inspiring (or true) than Marvell’s final assertion that his mistress and he need to rise up, get with the programme
Rhino Bucket are, of course, equally inspiring. Possibly more so. However I need to confess to you all that I only own this track on MP3 (hangs head down), I know I’m sorry I’ve let you all down here. But hey, like, whatevs dudes. Anyway over the kind of Neanderthal stomp that the Young brothers patented back in the Jurassic age, Mr Rhino^^ begs his coy mistress for a slice, in no uncertain terms:
Sittin’ on your front porch
I can see through your summer dress
The reasons why I misbehave
In fact that is the single most sexually menacing pronunciation of the word ‘lemonade’ ever. But it seems that this lady friend is, somewhat bizarrely, reluctant to consummate their relationship – so Mr Rhino needs to up the ante, subtly and does so in quite possibly the most brilliant and persuasive piece of poetry I have yet to encounter:
You say you’re a lady
And ladies got class
I don’t need no Prima Donna
All I need is a piece of ass
Surely the lady who could resist such a heartfelt announcement of love must have no soul? How could any who has ever loved, or felt that tender fluttering of the heart that betokens affection, passionate or otherwise, be strong enough to deny him his oats? especially when he reminds her that, ‘Even the sun goes down’. Genius.
Hard Rock 1 – Metaphysical Poetry 0
Next week on my culture slot: Ben Jonson vs. Brian ‘Big Jack, Big Jack / It ain’t just Santa who’s got a full sack’ Johnson
481 (Even the sun goes) Down.
*and possibly knees; probably knees in fact – actually they’re definitely on the opening list here.
**that’s not a jokey bit, I am.
^I deny all the rumours and those photos of me and the turnip that were widely circulated on 4Chan last year? they were so photo shopped!
^^or possibly Dr Bucket? I’m not too sure.