Mike Carey is an inspiration to all lovers of comic books and fantasy. His credits range from X-Men comics to Constantine epics, to magnificent original graphic novels like God Save the Queen. As a novelist he has created a highly original protagonist, free lance exorcist Felix Castor, who walks the streets of London vanquishing and exorcising evil, er, sometimes with the use of a tin whistle. Mike’s also one of the nicest guys in SF.
I love his choice for today – my generation too! – but this particular song it’s WAY too long to feature on this blog, or even on YouTube. So I feature an excerpt, with a link for you to buy the album if you want to hear more.
Mike Carey writes:
Supper’s Ready Part 2
In Supper’s Ready (from their 1972 album, Foxtrot), Genesis created a sprawling sci-fi epic and played it out in the space of a suite of songs whose combined length is more than twenty minutes. Beginning with a first inkling of disaster to come when the narrator sees something alien and inexplicable in his lover’s face, it escalates through total war, millenarian cults, extreme body modification and finally the end of the world – although we’re not sure whether this is devastation or redemption.
The lyrics are elliptical, and it’s never possible to paraphrase exactly what’s going on, but the orchestration of emotion throughout is amazing, as is the bravura finish, which swipes the imagery of the Book of Revelations and puts it through its paces – so that when we come full circle to the announcement that “supper’s ready”, it’s the supper of the king of kings, announced by the angel who stands in the sun. Pretentious? Maybe. But back in 1974 (which was when I discovered the album) that didn’t put me off at all. I just loved it for the insane head-trip it was. Moreover, it paved the way for the greater glories of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway two years later – The Lamia, Lilywhite Lilith, The Colony of Slippermen et al.
Yes, kids, that’s how old I am. I remember when Genesis weren’t boring…
Walking across the sitting-room, I turn the television off.
Sitting beside you, I look into your eyes.
As the sound of motor cars fades in the night time,
I swear I saw your face change, it didn’t seem quite right.
…And it’s hello babe with your guardian eyes so blue
Hey my baby don’t you know our love is true.
Coming closer with our eyes, a distance falls around our bodies.
Out in the garden, the moon seems very bright,
Six saintly shrouded men move across the lawn slowly.
The seventh walks in front with a cross held high in hand.
…And it’s hello babe your supper’s waiting for you.
Hey my baby, don’t you know our love is true.
I’ve been so far from here,
Far from your warm arms.
It’s good to feel you again,
It’s been a long long time. Hasn’t it?
The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man
I know a farmer who looks after the farm.
With water clear, he cares for all his harvest.
I know a fireman who looks after the fire.
Can’t you see he’s fooled you all.
Yes, he’s here again, can’t you see he’s fooled you all.
Share his peace,
Sign the lease.
He’s a supersonic scientist,
He’s the guaranteed eternal sanctuary man.
Look, look into my mouth he cries,
And all the children lost down many paths,
I bet my life you’ll walk inside
Hand in hand,
gland in gland
With a spoonful of miracle,
He’s the guaranteed eternal sanctuary.
We will rock you, rock you little snake,
We will keep you sad and warm.
Ikhnaton And Itsacon And Their Band Of Merry Men
Wearing feelings on our faces while our faces took a rest,
We walked across the fields to see the children of the West,
But we saw a host of dark skinned warriors
standing still below the ground,
Waiting for battle.
The fight’s begun, they’ve been released.
Killing foe for peace…bang, bang, bang. Bang, bang, bang…
And they’re giving me a wonderful potion,
‘Cos I cannot contain my emotion.
And even though I’m feeling good,
Something tells me I’d better activate my prayer capsule.
Today’s a day to celebrate, the foe have met their fate.
The order for rejoicing and dancing has come from our warlord.
How Dare I Be So Beautiful?
Wandering in the chaos the battle has left,
We climb up the mountain of human flesh,
To a plateau of green grass, and green trees full of life.
A young figure sits still by a pool,
He’s been stamped “Human Bacon” by some butchery tool.
(He is you)
Social Security took care of this lad.
We watch in reverence, as Narcissus is turned to a flower.
If you go down to Willow Farm,
to look for butterflies, flutterbyes, gutterflies
Open your eyes, it’s full of surprise, everyone lies,
like the fox on the rocks,
and the musical box.
Yes, there’s Mum & Dad, and good and bad,
and everyone’s happy to be here.
There’s Winston Churchill dressed in drag,
he used to be a British flag, plastic bag, what a drag.
The frog was a prince, the prince was a brick, the brick was an egg,
the egg was a bird.
(Fly away you sweet little thing, they’re hard on your tail)
Hadn’t you heard?
(They’re going to change you into a human being!)
Yahoo, we’re happy as fish and gorgeous as geese,
and wonderfully clean in the morning.
We’ve got everything, we’re growing everything,
We’ve got some in
We’ve got some out
We’ve got some wild things floating about
Everyone, we’re changing everyone,
you name them all,
We’ve had them here,
And the real stars are still to appear.
Feel your body melt;
Mum to mud to mad to dad
Dad diddley office, Dad diddley office,
You’re all full of ball.
Dad to dam to dum to mum
Mum diddley washing, Mum diddley washing,
You’re all full of ball.
Let me hear you lies, we’re living this up to the eyes.
Momma I want you now.
And as you listen to my voice
To look for hidden doors, tidy floors, more applause.
You’ve been here all the time,
Like it or not, like what you got,
You’re under the soil (the soil, the soil),
Yes, deep in the soil (the soil, the soil, the soil, the soil!).
So we’ll end with a whistle and end with a bang
and all of us fit in our places.
Apocalypse In 9/8 (Co-Starring the delicious talents of Gabble Ratchet)
With the guards of Magog, swarming around,
The Pied Piper takes his children underground.
Dragons coming out of the sea,
Shimmering silver head of wisdom looking at me.
He brings down the fire from the skies,
You can tell he’s doing well by the look in human eyes.
Better not compromise.
It won’t be easy.
666 is no longer alone,
He’s getting out the marrow in your back bone,
And the seven trumpets blowing sweet rock and roll,
Gonna blow right down inside your soul.
Pythagoras with the looking glass reflects the full moon,
In blood, he’s writing the lyrics of a HIP brand new tune.
And it’s hey babe, with your guardian eyes so blue,
Hey my baby, don’t you know our love is true,
I’ve been so far from here,
Far from your loving arms,
Now I’m back again, and babe it’s gonna work out fine.
As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men’s Feet)
Can’t you feel our souls ignite
Shedding ever changing colours, in the darkness of the fading night,
Like the river joins the ocean, as the germ in a seed grows
We have finally been freed to get back home.
There’s an angel standing in the sun, and he’s crying with a loud voice,
“This is the supper of the mighty One”,
The Lord of Lords,
King of Kings,
Has returned to lead His children home,
To take them to the new Jerusalem.
Download from Amazon here.
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