Swans' Most Terrifying Songs

Categories: Appreciations

"Another You," from Holy Money (1986)

What sounds like a harmonica makes you think you're moving. Like you're on a train. But you're not. You ain't going nowhere. "I'll walk 15 steps across the room, I'll stay there until I know where I am, I won't move until I remember where I am." But you don't remember, therefore you don't move. So you create "another you," and this version of you maybe does what you should've done earlier. "I should have hurt you," realizes Gira. But it's too late. There is no other you. Those 15 steps were your last 15 steps. You're trapped.

"Beautiful Child," from Children of God (1987)

The song begins with gunfire. Gira thinks the child is beautiful, but something's immediately fishy about how angry he sounds when he admits he wants to caress the beautiful child's soft head. Then he reveals his true intentions. "I can kill the child, the beautiful child, I will kill the child, the beautiful child." He has a warped understanding of caress.

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11 comments
audibleimage
audibleimage

Great selection -failure, is a blue collar journal to familiar to thee grandson of Irish coal miner vetereran amputee of as 2 - but always happy to see us gran kids, and hide the troubles behind his eyes. What's the song were Harbor talks softly and sensualy to " father" for about four minutes than took an entire shure BROS sm58 in here mouth and blasts out some death metal guteral vocals that would make canibal corpse or nalpalm death wince and go back to the drawing board? Hearing it you could feel the rage unleashed, seeing it live, she seemed small and almost fragile then this explosion of vocal ( naive of me and sorry ladies, but I thought done larger framed fellow with a square jaw and prison tats would take over - nope just her , and well justified honest unbridled rage with the band in full violence behind her ... Uh I think I and any everyone took a jump back, I could speculate on who or type of recipient this song is dedicated to - but let's just say he's in deep shjt if not already a shallow grave) Who needs size and muscle when you have hell furry flying out of every fiber if your flesh So many more, so many more , ahhhh what an incredible band its been since swans are dead that I saw them last I know I missed out any other east coast rain shows???? What's up with that williamsburg gig, damnit and missed Durham too ... Any thing else between here VA to Atlanta to Ny ? Please let me know !!!! audibleimage@gmail.com Damn. I think I missed out this time and too far and few between Much love and respect to the tribe of Gira!!!!

birsa.non
birsa.non

I would have added "Killing For Company" and.. well... "Love Will Save You"....

davidhall99
davidhall99

great article - this needs to be done for Today is the Day also.  anyway, great work.

capn
capn

Time is Money (Bastard) is the scariest, hands down. 

gpacketjr
gpacketjr

Gira is not the one singing on "You Fucking People Make Me Sick", it's actually Devendra Banhart.

Will
Will

no "My Buried Child"? for shame.

de1061
de1061

The only thing terrifying about those songs is how shitty they are.

elliottsharp
elliottsharp

@j_arthur_bloom Seeing them in Philadelphia on Saturday. Stoked.

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