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Isopanisad Radio Hour

Title: Isopanisad 1 Radio Hour
Released: 2000
Label: Yo-Yo

Liner notes

This record is for Uchi, Ari and Yasu.

Table of contents

  1. Abide With Me
  2. Born Ready
  3. Cobscook Bay
  4. Dutch Orchestra Blues
  5. Pseudothyrum Song
  6. The Last Limit of Bhakti

Abide With Me 2 3

Abide with me, fast falls the eventide 4
The darkness deepens, Lord, with me abide
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee
Help of the helpless, Lord abide with me

Swift to its close, ebbs out life's little day
Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away
Change and decay in all around I see
O thou who changest not, abide with me

Born Ready 5

I'm going to see you in San Jose 6
I'm going to see you in San Jose
And I'm going to take you out for good
I'm going to take you down

I'm headed up the 101 7 right now
I'm headed up the 101 right now
And there's snow on the ground in Ohio today
There's no snow here

The sun is in my eyes
Yeah the sun is in my eyes
When I think about you, I feel so bad
It's been a long, long, long, long time

Cobscook Bay 8 9

We're alone most of the time these days
Jill used to come by, but she went away
And Gail used to come around and trash the joint
But she moved off to Dana Point 10
And you went along, just for the ride
And you both committed suicide

And day is breaking over Cobscook Bay
And I've never seen anything like it in my life

Cow gave birth and her calves are snow white
They huddle up close together at night
And the mama cow leans down and cleans her young
Licking their faces with her tongue
And unmarked airplanes buzz the air
And you're falling off that cliff somewhere in California
Which I've never seen
I put the pieces all together, but I don't know what they mean

And day is breaking over Cobscook Bay
And I've never seen anything like it in my life

Dutch Orchestra Blues 11

Somewhere in secret
The Dutch orchestra's 12 playing
Somewhere in secret
The Dutch orchestra's playing
Real nice
Real nice

And they play so quiet
You can hear the passing traffic
They play so quiet
You can hear the passing traffic
And the cars buzz by
And the wind blows
And I may walk past, and I may not
And someone may notice, or it may all slide right by
And you may love me, or you may not love me at all anymore
But the sun will shine on Holland in the spring
And God will watch over the members of the orchestra for me
With all his available energies
Yeah, yeah

Pseudothyrum 13 Song 14

Why do you treat me this way?
And why do you try so hard to break my spirit?
I think someone was mean to you when you were little
That's what I think
I think someone was mean to you

Why do you cling to such petty points of contention?
And why don't you allow me one or two small victories now and then?
I think someone was mean to you when you didn't deserve it
That's what I think
I think someone was mean to you

But I
I am not that guy
Can you get that straight?
I am a completely different person
From the one you have in mind

Why do you stand by the things you say
Long after you don't mean to hurt anybody anymore?
I think someone was mean to you
For a long, long time, that's what I think
I think someone was mean to you

The Last Limit of Bhakti 15

Two, three, four

Let me serve you with my mind
Let me serve you with my mind
Let me leave this grieving sand and sky far behind

Let me serve you with my tongue
Let me serve you with my tongue
Let me say your name all day 'til my mouth goes numb

When the sun comes up
Open up the blind
Let me hear the machines grate gears, squeal and grind, yeah

Let me serve you 'til it's over
Let me serve you 'til it's all over
When the world is giving your secrets all away
Let me give you cover

Let me serve you with my body
Let me serve you with my body
Let me fight now until the end of time
The last limit
Yeah, yeah

Credits

This page was written almost entirely by the amazing Patrick Lickman, also known as echo on the Mountain Goats forum. He can be contacted most easily on Twitter, where his username is @PatrickEchoEcho. Thanks as ever to Caliclimber, from whose comprehensive Flickr page the album art comes.

  1. Isopanisad Radio Hour, Nall, retrieved July 2, 2013.

Footnotes

  1. The Isha Upanishad, sometimes transliterated Śrī Īśopaniṣad, is a Hindu holy text dating roughly to before the current calendar era. It is one of the Upanishads, texts which form the core philosophical foundation of Hinduism. The Isha Upanishad attempts to describe the nature of Ish, the supreme being, in theistic Hinduism.

  2. Abide With Me is part of the informal series of Biblical references and the informal series of cover songs.

  3. Abide With Me is a hymn written by Henry Francis Lyte in 1847, just three weeks before he died of tuberculosis. It is most frequently sung (as in this case) to William Monk's tune "Eventide". John sings just the first two verses of the original eight.

  4. These first two lines allude to Luke 24:29, "But they urged Him: 'Stay with us, because it's almost evening, and now the day is almost over.' So He went in to stay with them." Holman Christian Standard Bible, retrieved July 3, 2013.

  5. When played at Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, on January 27, 1999, John called this song "Know the Way".

  6. San Jose is the largest city in Northern California, and the third-largest of the state.

  7. Route 101 is a major highway in the USA running along the West Coast. If the narrator is 'headed up', they are presumably in California moving north to San Jose. Use of the definite article in front of the freeway number ("the 101") is common in Southern Californian dialects, possibly a reflection of John's own Southern Californian origins, the origins of the person in the song, or the person's location. (For more information, see for example Dodson, Stephen (2008), "The" + Freeway, retrieved July 3, 2013).

  8. "This song is not unique, but is one of a group of songs where I look at it and I have no idea what I was talking about — where that story came from, what it was driving at, who those people are, and why they had to die." — Zoop, Farm Sanctuary, June 17, 2007

  9. Cobscook Bay is located in Washington County, in the US state of Maine.

  10. Dana Point is a city in Southern California, presumably home of the same "cliff somewhere" referenced later.

  11. Dutch Orchestra Blues is part of the informal series of Biblical references.

  12. Though John does very clearly use the definite article "the", there are a number of Dutch orchestras to which he may be referring, or another one entirely - it is (probably deliberately) left ambiguous.

  13. "Pseudothyrum" appears to be an extremely obscure Latin word meaning "secret door".

  14. "This, for reasons that are alien to even me, is called Pseudothyrum Song." — CBGB, New York, July 27, 1999

  15. In Hinduism and Buddhism, Bhakti refers to religious devotion in the form of worship of the divine. Within monotheistic Hinduism, it is the love felt by the worshipper towards their personal God.