Song of the Day #1,497: ‘Seven Devils’ – Florence + The Machine

I’ve spent the week looking back on the summer through the prism of sports, television, movies and song, so it’s only fitting that I should close things out with a discussion of the written word.

I suppose the official book of the summer would be Fifty Shades of Grey (along with its sequels) but I have no time for glorified Twilight fan fiction. Another much-hyped book, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, has received much higher praise (including from my wife, who read it in about two days), and I definitely plan to read that one.

But the truth is that I haven’t read anything this summer but 4,000 pages (and counting) of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. Again, my wife is to blame.

She started the first novel in the series, A Game of Thrones, about a year ago and spent the following few months tearing through all five installments (two more are on the way). I made fun of her obsession with wights and dragons, Westeros, Dorne and the Wall, Jon Snow, Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister.

She decided to read the books in advance of the HBO series Game of Thrones, which we planned to watch on DVD. I took the lazy route and figured the TV show would suffice. But when we got the DVDs and watched a few episodes, I was instantly hooked — not just on the show but on the world it depicted. I decided I was missing far too much by passing up the books for the show.

So I fired up A Game of Thrones on my Kindle and haven’t looked back since. I’ve since raced through A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Feast of Crows and I’m currently about 25% (ah, Kindle terminology) through the most recent book, A Dance with Dragons.

Martin has waited as long as six years between volumes, so I dread the day I finish this one and have to wait for the next along with all the other geeks (or is it nerds?) who have been enchanted by this story.

I’ve seen the Song of Ice and Fire series described as Lord of the Rings with sex and humor, and that’s about as apt a description as any. The books are about knights and dragons, kings and queens, flawed heroes and despicable villains. But they are smart, funny and political in a way that I didn’t expect.

And in Tyrion Lannister, the Imp, they have a character for the literary canon. Perfectly embodied by Peter Dinklage in the HBO series, Tyrion is the epic’s wry, brilliant beating heart. I could read a dozen more thousand page books if they centered on him.

Meanwhile, I have books piling up and waiting for me to finish with Westeros. Gone Girl, Zeitoun and The Age of Miracles for starters. And new books by Zadie Smith, Junot Diaz and Michael Chabon. But they’ll have to get in line behind the Imp.

Today’s SOTD, by Florence + The Machine, was used in the Season 2 promo to HBO’s A Game of Thrones.

Holy water cannot help you down
Hours and armies couldn’t keep me out
I don’t want your money
I don’t want your crowd
See I have to burn
Your kingdom down

Holy water cannot help you now
See I’ve had to burn your kingdom down
And no rivers and no lakes can put the fire out
I’m gonna raise the stakes, I’m gonna smoke you out

Seven devils all around you
Seven devils in my house
See they were there when I woke up this morning
I’ll be dead before the day is done

Seven devils all around you
Seven devils in your house
See I was dead when I woke up this morning
I’ll be dead before the day is done
Before the day is done

And now all your love will be exorcised
And we will find you saying it’s to be better now
And it’s an even sum
It’s a melody
It’s a battle cry
It’s a symphony

Seven devils all around you
Seven devils in my house
See they were there when I woke up this morning
I’ll be dead before the day is done

Seven devils all around you
Seven devils in your house
See I was dead when I woke up this morning
And I’ll be dead before the day is done

Before the day is done
Before the day is done
Before the day is done

They can keep me high
‘Til I tear the walls
‘Til I save your heart
And I take your soul
And what have we done?
Can I be undone?
In the evil heart
In the evil soul

Seven devils all around you
Seven devils in your house
See I was dead when I woke up this morning
I’ll be dead before the day is done
Before the day is done

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6 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,497: ‘Seven Devils’ – Florence + The Machine

  1. Amy says:

    Get in Line Behind the Imp would make a great title for your memoir ;)

  2. Dana says:

    As I have never been a fan of the fantasy world mythology genre, I suspect I would have little interest or patience for Game of Thrones (though the sex and humor might keep me a bit more intrigued)

  3. Clay says:

    That’s just it, I’m not a fan of the genre either. I can’t even make it through the Lord of the Rings movies, let alone the books. That’s why I was shocked at how quickly I took to this series.

    That said, I agree they’re probably not up your alley.

  4. pegclifton says:

    I’m not a fan of the genre either, but it sounds like you have had some wonderful summer reading–I have read Gone Girl, The Age of Miracles, and Hologram for a King (Eggers new book)–the last two
    using real books instead of my kindle, and it felt good to hold a book for
    a change; however I’m enjoying a new book on my kindle right now and loving it–The Incredible Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

  5. pegclifton says:

    oops, make that The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

  6. andrea katz says:

    I have played Scrabble and raised my rating. I have read nor done much of anything else. I am a walrus. (worth quite a few points in the right place). This imp though, he interests me. Is he single?

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