venus in a v-neck sweater

27 Sep

It’s been two years since The Believer threw “A Wild Holy Band,” an epic road song by Scottish songwriter Mike Scott, onto the free CD that always accompanies its music issue. And for two years, I haven’t been able to escape the world it conjures.

The lyrics are simple—and Scott enunciates so well that we can’t miss them—but for some reason, the scenes are distinct, vignettes as pronounced as his diction. We drive into the night, into jangling forests, and come upon stricken ships where bands play outrageous jazz. We visit dimly lit motel rooms, where lovers lose youth’s certainty. We come to druid colleges. We go to Tokyo. There’s the feeling that throughout the entire 10-minute song there’s a constant mist, a drizzle that slowly soaks through everything.

At one point, we meet a woman, and in describing her, Scott say she was “Aphrodite, Helen, Phoetus, Eve among the Satyrs / She was Venus in a V-neck sweater / She was all that ever mattered.”

I thought so the first time I heard it, and I thought so again this morning: “Venus in a V-neck sweater” has to be one of the greatest lines ever thrown into a pop song. And it’s that type of wordplay that makes this song not only listenable, but endlessly so. Go here to check it out for yourself. Sean Conner and I wrote about it here.

One Response to “venus in a v-neck sweater”

  1. Sean September 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    Just seeing the title of this post brought back memories.

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