Photographing the Deceased Child

June 14, 2008 5:37 PM

I've decided to make lo-fi recordings of old songs I wrote in my 20s and early 30s. Many of these songs are between 15 and 20 years old and have not been preformed since they were written.

The first one, "Photographing the Deceased Child," is one of my oldest. I figure I wrote it some time in my late teens, influenced by a book I had looked at in a book store that showed a number of funeral photographs of dead children, where they were posed as though they were sleeping, often with their parents around them. The song was written to sound like an old American religious hymn, and it strikes me as an unusually morbid and mournful composition.


Many children died from the flu
O many died and were buried then
With parents grieving
Parents who
Dressed their loss
In coast and shoe
And paid to have them on film again
And brought from church clergymen
Who said a prayer
And said amen'
And then stood at the casket
To get photographed too

In a pine box laid
In a field of corn
Hands clasped or grasping
Sweet lilies
The parents mourn
It's clear hey mourn
This child they had
Desired born
But do so quiet
With dignity
Dressed in black
And finery
They pose along
Photo memory
They photograph the infant
In the clothes he'd once worn

posted by Astro Zombie (2 comments total)

This is pretty great. It would sound right at home as part of a Harry Smith collection or something -- if you added warp-n-crackle noise and told me that's what it was I'd believe you.

Hey, you might as well add the "mefimusicchallenge" tag to this, since it fits.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:10 AM on June 15, 2008

Well, that's just somethin' else, man. It really makes me feel for the little kids.

And what Karlos said too.
posted by snsranch at 4:15 PM on June 16, 2008

« Older Life   |   The Book of Love Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments