Ace of Bhangra

The song crawls out of sludge from the bottom of the Indus River, from beneath the ruins of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. The burning sun tries in vain to penetrate the thick foliage of the ancient fig tree beneath which she reclines: the thousand-faced mistress of the myriad temples, the dancer, the priestess, the worshiper, the idol, the eternally pregnant singer . . .

She who alone knows why no human remains were ever recovered from the excavated city, the Mother of the thousand abortions, she who gave birth to the beats of the rhythm—and the space between each beat, the unnameable principle of dread . . . the slow flow of the river at sunset obscured by smoke of human flesh from the smoldering ghats . . .

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More ACE of BASE


Flowers in the Canyon

(from Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman)

In one of Ralph Connor’s books he tells a story of Gwen. Gwen was a wild, wilful lassie and one who had always been accustomed to having her own way. Then one day she met with a terrible accident which crippled her for life. She became very rebellious and in the murmuring state she was visited by the Sky Pilot, as the missionary among the mountaineers was termed. He told her the parable of the canyon.

“At first there were no canyons, but only the broad, open prairie. One day the Master of the Prairie, walking over his great lawns, where were only grasses, asked the Prairie, ‘Where are your flowers?’ and the Prairie said, ‘Master I have no seeds.’

“Then he spoke to the birds, and they carried seeds of every kind of flower and strewed them far and wide, and soon the prairie bloomed with crocuses and roses and buffalo beans and the yellow crowfoot and the wild sunflowers and the red lilies all summer long. Then the Master came and was well pleased; but he missed the flowers he loved best of all, and he said to the Prairie: ‘Where are the clematis and the columbine, the sweet violets and wind-flowers, and all the ferns and flowering shrubs?’

“And again he spoke to the birds, and again they carried all the seeds and scattered them far and wide. But, again, when the Master came he could not find the flowers he loved best of all, and he said: “‘Where are those my sweetest flowers?’ and the Prairie cried sorrowfully: “‘Oh, Master, I cannot keep the flowers, for the winds sweep fiercely, and the sun beats upon my breast, and they wither up and fly away.’

“Then the Master spoke to the Lightning, and with one swift blow the Lightning cleft the Prairie to the heart. And the Prairie rocked and groaned in agony, and for many a day moaned bitterly over the black, jagged, gaping wound. But the river poured its waters through the cleft, and carried down deep black mould.

“And once more the birds carried seeds and strewed them in the canyon. And after a long time the rough rocks were decked out with soft mosses and trailing vines, and all the nooks were hung with clematis and columbine, and great elms lifted their huge tops high up into the sunlight, and down about their feet clustered the low cedars and balsams, and everywhere the violets and wind-flower and maiden-hair grew and bloomed, till the canyon became the Master’s favorite place for rest and peace and joy.”

Then the Sky Pilot read to her: “The fruit–I’ll read ‘flowers’–of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness–and some of these grow only in the canyon.” “Which are the canyon flowers?” asked Gwen softly, and the Pilot answered: “Gentleness, meekness, longsuffering; but though the others, love, joy, peace, bloom in the open, yet never with so rich a bloom and so sweet a perfume as in the canyon.”

For a long time Gwen lay quite still, and then said wistfully, while her lips trembled: “There are no flowers in my canyon, but only ragged rocks.” “Some day they will bloom, Gwen dear; the Master will find them, and we, too, shall see them.”

Beloved, when you come to your canyon, remember!

Have you heard, have you heard / About this girl who was ripped up by her roots ?
Have you heard, what she learned? / Like humility – you win when you lose
I have learned, I have learned / The most horrifying nights have an end
I was hurt, I was lost In the dark I found a way to a friend
I am standing here in my ravine Once again I see a piece of the sky
And my joy’ll never be denied‘Cause I was meant to be here –
The only place on earth / Where you are near, where you are near
Was a flower, was so frail / And I let the trees grow wild around me
Grew so high, hid the sky / Shaded everything I needed to see
Then one night, someone came / Took a knife and ripped me up by my roots
Tossed astray, far away / In the darkest night, I started to pray
I am standing…
Why do you, why do you ask /  Why I’m not blaming my God?
I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you what / He was the only one there
I am standing…

Waiting for Resurrection

And when he came into the house,
he suffered no man to go in,
save Peter, and James, and John,
and the father and the mother of the maiden.
And all wept, and bewailed her:
but he said: Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.

And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

And he put them all out, and took her by the hand,
and called, saying: Maid, arise.
And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway…

[from the Gospel of Luke 8:52-55, KJV]
Waiting for magic…
A man of the world, but lost in a dream / You look at something from a different angle
But I exist – I’m waiting for you / In a coffin made of glass
Kiss me baby I’m attractive Baby get to know me / Show who you are
Give me that music, baby I’m eternal /Lying in a coffin /Waiting for you
In your dream a girl is dancing close to you (that girl is me)
Once a witch made her sleep but a prince will wake her up (it’s you)
Kiss me baby I’m attractive Baby get to know me / Show who you are
Give me that music, baby I’m eternal / Lying in a coffin / Waiting for you
Waiting for magic… ♪♫♫
Kiss me baby I am Snow White sleeping in a coffin / waiting for you
Waiting for magic, baby I am Snow White sleeping in a coffin / Waiting for you
Waiting for magic  (it’s what I do…)
Waiting for magic…  (for me and you, ohhh – kiss me baby wake me up !)
Oh, Kiss me baby – wake me up
Oh, kiss me baby wake me up – come on baby…
Kiss me baby I am Snow White sleeping in a coffin / waiting for you
Waiting for magic, baby I am Snow White sleeping in a coffin / Waiting for you
Waiting for magic…

Why I like this text:
This song plays with themes of Snow White/Sleeping Beauty and enchantment but it can be taken further – to ideas of eternal recurrence, resurrection from the dead and the power of sublimated desire searching for the eternal feminine… all happening in the virtual discotheque of your mind.

I love Ace of Base. There is haunting melancholy in their lyrics, and depth to their songs under a seemingly superficial techno surface. It is conducive to a Nietzschean reading – but also lends itself to a Christian interpretation… in a disco sort of way.

Happy Nation Live


Her gothic frau-frock… the flaming urns…
an exalted figure makes a strutting entry –
like a fascist rally of some sort…

It makes one wonder.
How beautiful was Lucifer when he used music to rally the angels to join his movement? What gimmicks did Nero use to produce a tyrannic spectacle? How powerful was the fervor of a Nazi rally? What drives people to lose their individuality in mass events like pop concerts or New-Age cult celebrations?
I am not saying that Ace of Base are sinister or evil—in fact I like this song for it’s message, and I love this band for their music. I especially enjoy the beauty of the singers. But if you step back and analyze the use of light, color, rhythm and media spectacle to enhance the crowd’s collective hysteria, you begin to appreciate these frightful words from the prophet Ezekiel:

You were the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.

You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you.

By the abundance of your trading
You became filled with violence within,
And you sinned;
Therefore I cast you as a profane thing
Out of the mountain of God;
And I destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the fiery stones.

Ezekiel 28:12-16 KJV

Meanwhile impersonal forces over which we have almost no control seem to be pushing us all in the direction of the Brave New Worldian nightmare; and this impersonal pushing is being consciously acceler­ated by representatives of commercial and political organizations who have developed a number of new tech­niques for manipulating, in the interest of some minor­ity, the thoughts and feelings of the masses. The tech­niques of manipulation will be discussed in later chapters. For the moment let us confine our attention to those impersonal forces which are now making the world so extremely unsafe for democracy, so very in­hospitable to individual freedom. What are these forces?

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited