Δυο κομμάτια που συναποτελούν ενότητα, καλύπτοντας την πρώτη πλευρά του Godbluff, άλμπουμ με το οποίο οι VDGG επέστρεφαν θριαμβευτικά το 1975, μετά από ανάπαυλα 4 χρόνων και ισάριθμες σόλο κυκλοφορίες του Hammill.
Πρόκειται για αριστουργήματα, κατά την ταπεινή μου άποψη. Ειδικά όμως το καταληκτικό section του
‘Scorched Earth’ εντάσσεται στην κατηγορία “υπεράνω περιγραφής”.

Two pieces that form a unit, covering side A of
Godbluff, album with which VDGG had returned triumphantly in 1975, after a 4-year hiatus and an equal number of Hammill solo releases.
These are masterpieces, imho. But especially the final section of the second one,
‘Scorched Earth’ falls into the category “beyond description”.

Here at the glass – all the usual problems,
All the habitual farce.
You ask, in uncertain voice, what you should do
As if there were a choice
But to carry on miming the song
And hope that it all works out right.
Tonight it all seems so strange – my spirit feels rigid,
My body deranged;
Still that’s only from one point of view
And we can’t have illusion between me and you,
My constant friend, ever close at hand –
You and the undercover man.
I reflect: ‘It’s very strange to be going through this change
With no idea of what it’s all been about
Except in the context of time…’
Oh, but I shirk it, I’ve half a mind not to work it all out.
Is this madness just the recurring wave of total emotion,
Or a hide for the undercover man,
Or a litany – all the signs are there of fervent devotion –
Or the cracking of the dam?
It’s cracked; smashed and bursting over you,
There was no reason to expect such disaster.
Now, panicking, you burst for air,
Drowning, you know you care
For nothing and no-one but yourself
And would deny even this hand which stretches out towards you to help.
But would I leave you in this moment of your trial?
Is it my fault that I’m here to see you crying?
These phantom figures all around you should have told you,
You should have found out by now,
If you hadn’t gone and tried to do it all by yourself.
Even now we are not lost: if you look out at the night
You’ll see the colours and the lights seem to say
People are not far away, at least in distance,
And it’s only our own dumb resistance
That’s making us stay.
When the madness comes, let it flood on down and over me sweetly,
Let it drown the parts of me weak and blessed and damned,
Let it slake my life, let it take my soul and living completely,
Let it be who I am.
There may not be time for us all to run in tandem together –
The horizon calls with its parallel lines.
It may not be right for you to have and hold in one way forever
And yet you still have time,
You still have time.

Just one crazy moment while the dice are cast,
He looks into the future and remembers what is past,
Wonders what he’s doing on this battlefield,
Shrugs to his shadow, impatient, too proud yet to kneel.
In his wake he leaves scorched earth and work in vain;
Smoke drifts up behind him, he is free again,
Free to run before the onslaught of a deadly foe,
Leaving nothing fit for pillage, hardly leaving home.
It’s far too late to turn, unless it’s to stone.
Charging madly forward, tracks across the snow,
Wind screams madness to him, ever on he goes
Leaving spoor to mark his passage, trace his weary climb.
Cross the moor and make the headland
Stumbling, wayward, blind.
In the end his footprints extend as one single line.
This latest exponent of heresy is goaded into an attack,
Persuaded to charge at his enemy.
Too late, he knows it is, too late now to turn back,
Too soon by far to falter.
The past sits uneasily at his rear,
He’s walking right into the trap,
Surrounded, but striving through will and fear.
Ahead of him he knows there waits an ambuscade
But the dice slip through his fingers
And he’s living from day to day,
Carrying his world around upon his back,
Leaving nothing behind but the tell-tale of his track.
He will not be hostage, he will not be slave,
No snare of past can trap him, though the future may.
Still he runs and burns behind him in advanced retreat;
Still his life remains unfettered, he denies defeat.
It’s far too late to turn, unless it’s to stone.
Leave the past to burn, at least that’s been his own.
Scorched earth, that’s all that’s left when he’s done;
Holding nothing but beholden to no-one,
Claiming nothing, out of no false pride, he survives.
Snow tracks are all that’s left to be seen
Of a man who entered the course of a dream,
Claiming nothing but the life he’s known
This, at least, has been his own.

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