Let the Band Play On

July 4, 2008 12:30 AM

Part of my Old Songs project. A moody tune from 1999 about the terminus of a relationship.

I suspect I wrote this song because I liked the title, which has been used before, in songs dating back to the 30s or before. Bands playing music pops up in my lyrics now and then, particularly from my songs written in the late 90s, which is when I wrote this (1999 would be my guess). And, again, it's a tale of loss and regret, although, in this instance, set right at the terminus of a relationship. I don't have much else to say about the song, except that I have always been weirdly self-satisfied that I used the word "prithee" in the lyrics.


The band is in the streets
They're playing a sad melody
Let the band play on, my angel
Let them play I prithee
Pay them for the song they're playing
Ask them to play it again
A fitting end to this affair we're having
It needs a fitting end

We seemed so young when we began this
And no we seem so frail
The lies I fear have aged us angel
The capers and wassail
You were never mine to have, my angel
And soon you will be gone
So let's listen to this mournful song, dear
And let the band play on

posted by Astro Zombie (4 comments total)

Recording quality and "prithee" notwithstanding, this song strikes me as one of the more modern-sounding of your "old" songs. (And I can think of a a few artists who probably wouldn't think twice about singing "prithee" now anyway). I'm not sure where that impression comes from; I think it might be the vocal melody, although it's not clearly datable to a particular era. I just get a vague sense of anachronism.
posted by danb at 7:46 AM on July 4, 2008

This song uses a I, IV, V chord structure and open, major chords; it's not my only song to do so, but I think in this instance it lends the melody more of a pop sound than usually ends up in my writing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:29 AM on July 4, 2008

I like how the guitar sounds almost like its at a luau.
posted by dobie at 8:39 AM on July 4, 2008

I keep coming back to this one, like the delivery.
posted by ageispolis at 7:54 PM on July 5, 2008

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