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NotS Landing...(& Re: many an aborigine's mistaken for a tree

From: (Vickie Mapes)
Date: 19 Oct 92 01:48:12 GMT
Subject: NotS Landing...(& Re: many an aborigine's mistaken for a tree
Organization: Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.
References: <> writes:

>Hi all!


>I think I have finally figured out how to post (Thanks Liam:) ), and now that
>this glorious day has come, I have many questions for you gaffans....
>Does anyone know how Tori or Kate feel about the comparisons that have been
>drawn between them?

No one knows how Kate feels about it (but then, Kate is totally incognito
when she's working on an album, plus it's doubtful she's ever even heard
of Tori Amos. The lady is too darn sheltered.)

Tori herself said she was flattered. She said more than that, but I'll let
other Tori fans rile up Ben & Jon (isn't that an ice cream?)

>A KaTefan I know once told me that Kate was a Druid priestess (!!) -- has
>anyone else heard that?

<snort><snort><cough><cough> I'm sure your Katefan friend is an awfully
nice person, but she's very wrong. I don't know who starts such rumours,
but they're awfully darn silly. I have nothing against Druid priestesses,
I'm sure they are awfully nice people too and they live in a really nice,
almost enviable, fantasyland. But no, Kate is not one of them. (though she
is an awfully nice person!) 

>"Night of the Swallow" is probably my all time favorite Kate song, but I've 
>not a clue what it's about -- what do you think this situation is that she's
>describing?  Don't you love the line, "wings fill the window, and they beat
>and bleed".....

Absolutely! NotS is my all-time favorite Kate song too. It's the song
that clicked the entire album into my brain and set it into a very
comfortable place called "Favorite Kate Album! Do Not Remove Or The Entire
Universe Will Collapse In Upon Itself And Everyone Will Be Really Upset!"
What it's about?

Cast 'o characters:
Husband-adventurous, greedy and somewhat henpecked
Wife-paranoid, worried and somewhat shrewish

Old rented airplane for "daydream" sequence.

Middle of the night, presumably

Couple's home, whereabouts unknown

Dover, England and Malta are mentioned, but we don't know for 
sure if he actually goes to either place. They *talk* and
he *thinks* about it, but did he go??

Overture plays.

                 FADE FROM BLACK

Nightime. We're in an English cottage somewhere in southern England.

Wife pleads with husband to not go on his "mission" to Malta.
Please don't laugh at me, this night doesn't feel right.
She threatens to call the coppers if he leaves. 
Please don't go. I don't like the sound of it.
She can see that he isn't even listening to her.
Listen to me! I won't let you do it! I won't let you go through with it!

Husband is not listening to his wife. He's thinking about the flight
ahead. He can't wait to get to Dover where the plane that he will pilot
is waiting. He's itching to get up in the air, the only place he feels
free of the drudgery of his "real" life. He's aware it's dangerous
and illegal, but he doesn't care. He wants to fly like a swallow.
I'm just the pilot, I didn't plan the whole thing. I don't even
know their names, and they don't know mine. It'll be ok, really.
It's a moonless night, and the plane will blend in with the darkness.
There no risk, really. And I'll be home before the morning.

Wife: No, please, you'll get caught. You'll get caught in Malta and
they'll lock the door and throw away the key. You want to be a
swallow, but swallows behind bars just beat their wings against
the windows until they bleed. They'll keep you in jail, in another
country far away. No! I won't let you do it!

Husband: No really, it will be fine. I'm just going to be the pilot.   
I have to take them to Malta. Don't worry. I'll be back bfore dawn.

He loses patience with her.


I want to *fly*, fly like a swallow. Let me go.
Wife, sadly: But you're not a swallow.

                 FADE TO BLACK

That's how it plays out in my mind, anyway. I'm not as good a
"screenwriter" as Kate, but I fill in my own details, such as
them standing in the living room, by a fire, arguing.

I really think that the wife cares for her husband. She is a bit
of a shrew (he complains of having a "miserable life") but she
doesn't want to lose him. She's willing to have him arrested 
but that's something I'm not clear about. She doesn't want him
arrested in Malta, but she says "they'll head you off when you
touch the ground," which sounds like the ground in Malta. I just
pop my own imagination in there and assume that he would take off
again before the police have a chance to board the plane, and 
assume that that's what she's thinking will happen too. She does
care, and she's very, very scared.

Now, we don't know who Husband is going to be taking to Malta.
I'm not clear if he's supposed to take them there and leave 
them there, or if he's taking them there so they can pick up
something to bring back to England. Most likely he's taking
them there to pick up drugs or maybe illegal aliens to bring

As I said above, it's never made clear if the husband actually
leaves the house. I assume he does, but since all the flying
"scenes" are happening in his overactive imagination, who knows.

The biggest clue to point toward his actually leaving the house is
the sad whisper at the end "But you're not a swallow."

Sometimes, when I'm in the mood, I switch the man and the woman's
places. Gender is never really made clear on either side. I think
it's interesting to sometimes picture it being the woman who is
piloting the airplane.

There are some discrepancys in the lyrics that are printed in
the booklet (looking at the Box Set CD booklet now)

"They'll never find us"  should be "They'll never find me"
....."posing as the night"  (she sings "me" every time)
This makes a real difference to me, in his characterization. "Us
implies that he's thinking of everybody on the plane. "Me" implies
that he isn't really thinking about anybody but himself. This is
*his* flight, *his* adventure, *his* escape. It doesn't matter
to him what or who the plane is--or will be--carrying. I think that's
why Kate leaves the actual crime unknown. The song isn't about the
crime at all, it's about the husband and wife, the willingness to
risk everything they have for adventure (him) and safety (her.)
"For all of the guilty to set them free"   should be
     "For all of the guilty to let them free"
I'm not sure what difference this makes, but "let" sounds better.

"Oooh let me try"   should be  "Oooh let me fly"
....."Give me something to show for my miserable life"
Either word would sound good, but fly fits in much better
with the bird imagry. Besides, he's a very confident fellow.
He's *sure* that there will be no problems. I can't see him
saying "try" at all. I wonder how it got into the lyric proofs. 

It's quite an amazing song musically and vocally. The drums and
Irish instruments send shivers up my spine. Lyrically, it's (to me)
one of Kate's most vivid and "filmic" songs. (hey, if she can say
it so can I)

All in all: <Sigh! Wow!)  

Vickie                                   "My ears are lucky to hear                        these glorious songs" HTR
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"Imagination sets in, then   |__|_ ||_|
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