When I wrote this song, I was scared all the time. A feeling of absolute terror and doom was a constant in my life. If I was taking a shower, I would feel like a psycho was just about to pull back the shower curtain. If I was walking outside, I would feel like a car was just about to screech to a halt and force me inside at gunpoint.
Because of that, I suppose, I tried to surround myself by things that were as non-threatening as possible. Everything in my apartment had to be pale pink (or white when that wasn’t possible). Pictures of unicorns had to fill every wall (preferably baby unicorns being protected by their mothers). I only read children’s books and rarely ate anything other than dessert. I would spazz out and begin to cry if James mentioned anything remotely dangerous or violent from the news or world events.
Smells would especially freak me out. I couldn’t tolerate the smell of any savory food. And perhaps due to living in such a smell bubble, my sense of smell started to get more and more sensitive. Soon, I could tell what James was thinking about through subtle “smell puffs” he would release. Cupcake or baked good puffs meant he wanted to spend time with me, and the faintest puff of meat and tomatoes meant he was thinking about work, with garlic and onions being added if he was angry at his boss.
When I wrote this song, I thought everything would be better if we could all be savage beasts living in the wild. I liked to imagine the olden days when humans lived in tightly-knit communities, close to nature and richly steeped in tradition and ritual. By contrast, modern life felt sanitized and disconnected from nature, meaning, and other people.
A few years later, my dreams of living in a mud hut have died, but I still have savage fantasies of another sort. I wish that our minds could be restored to a more natural state, where our dreams, feelings, and perceptions would not be reigned in so much by artifice and conformity.
Humans seem (to me) to take on the traits of their environment, and I wonder if the prevalence of metals and machines causes us to strive to be more and more machine like- hard, glossy, competent, predictable and flawless, while cutting down the more soft, subjective, and chaotic aspects of our nature. Almost as though we are absorbing and internalizing the dreams of our computers.
On the other hand, considering that computers are made from the beautiful mineral silicon, maybe the dreams we absorb will not be all bad. Maybe going through a phase of learning to be more mineral-like is a natural part of human development.
When I wrote this song I was taking a class in Renaissance Astrology, and I had read a book- which I think was by Cornelius Agrippa- in which he describes the Soul of the World as loving all things sweet and shiny. I was glad to read that, because it matched up with my idea (at the time) of the Universe being one giant woman who loved flowers, candy, jewelry, and greeting cards, and had the power to turn everything bad into something good. Download MP3: Fanciful
I wrote this song one evening while baking a beer cake for a friend who was coming over for dinner. How idyllic! I thought to myself. How pastoral! Look at me– wearing my apron, baking a cake for a friend! I am truly on my way to becoming the Salt of the Earth!
But becoming a true Noble Savage was presenting me with difficulties. One was my revulsion to body odor- something which (I had read in natural living magazines) I was supposed to prefer to the sanitized smell of chemicals. And my dinner guest was kind of an artist when it came to body odor. Would this be the day he filled his socks with raw garlic to naturally defeat foot odor? The day he bathed in onion juice to remove negative thought forms from his aura? Each time I saw him, he seemed to have invented a new olfactory horror– a week of no showers mixed with jasmine blossoms– a day of sweaty work followed by a bath in chili sauce… one thing I knew is that the smell would be truly horrifying and a stomach wrenching blend of nastiness I had never encountered before.
But- he was my friend! And wasn’t I supposed to delight in the aromas of nature? On two previous occasions, I had resorted to suggesting that he eat his dinner alone on the balcony so that he could enjoy the sunset in peace and solitude, but even then, I would eat in dread, bracing myself for the moment he would crack open the door to make small talk, and the stench of pig intestines and frankincense would fill the room. But even while wretching, I felt ashamed. I imagined that Gandhi and Mother Teresa wouldn’t care if someone used apple cider vinegar as a natural alternative to deodorant. A saint would either find the beauty in all smells, or possibly have a nose so full of love that they couldn’t smell anything else.
So, I think this song grew from the conflict between my fanciful desire to place all things savage upon a pedestal, and a gut level revulsion to beastly smells. And on a deeper level, perhaps I was beginning to doubt if sprouting lima bean seeds from eggs shells was really the meaning of my life.
A song about a king with very long fingers… I wrote this during my Ron Paul phase, when I thought my goal in life was to be a Savage Granola, living off the grid in a geodesic dome. I tried to convince James to move to Oregon with me to live off the land and sell chicken eggs at the local farmers market, and he tried to convince me that I wouldn’t actually enjoy that sort of lifestyle. But in my imagination it was wonderful- we even had a pink horse & buggy & there were ribbons tied to just about everything. I would lean over my white picket fence to brag to my neighbor (who happened to be Archdruid John Michael Greer) that the only type of batteries I used were the ones I made from my own potatoes. I always wore handmade dresses covered with flowers and I was so happy it bordered on delirious.
But in the end, James was right. The closest I ever got to being a granola was making my own soap and trying to sell it to a health food store. When they turned me down (claiming that glitter soaps are not organic!) I knew it was time to find a new dream.