Song of the Day #3,061: ‘Lazy Flies’ – Beck

mutationsBeck’s 1998 album Mutations remains one of my favorites. It’s a ramshackle, melancholy collection that proved to be a precursor to the lovely, sad-sack classics, Sea Change and Morning Phase, to come in the decades that followed.

Mutations isn’t as polished as those albums but it’s beautifully produced, sustaining an uneasy, almost post-apocalyptic, mood. It’s the soundtrack of the Earth depicted in the first half of WALL-E.

Beck describes today’s SOTD, ‘Lazy Flies,’ this way:

“[It’s] this imaginary movie about some colonial, futuristic backwater. But it also contains elements of the barrio I grew up in. I grew up in that seedy part of LA where all the Salvadorean mechanics and maids who work in the big mansions of the super-rich elite in the Hollywood Hills live.”

Lazy flies all hovering above
The magistrate, he puts on his gloves
And he looks to the clouds
All pink and disheveled
There must be some blueprints
Some creed of the devil
Inscribed in our minds

A hideous game
Vanishes in thin air
The vanity of slaves
Who wants to be there?
To sweep the debris
To harness dead-horses
To ride in the sun
A life of confessions
Written in the dust

Out in the mangroves
The mynah birds cry
In the shadows of sulfur
The trawlers drift by
They’re chewing dried meat
House of disrepute
The dust of opiates
And syphilis patients
On brochure vacations
Fear has a glare that traps you
Like searchlights
The puritans stare
Their souls are fluorescent
The skin of a robot
Vibrates with pleasure
Matrons and gigolos
Carouse in the parlor
Their hand-grenade eyes
Invalid and blind

A hideous game
Vanishes in thin air
The vanity of slaves
Who wants to be there?
To sweep the debris
To harness dead-horses
To ride in the sun
A life of confessions
Written in the dust

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,061: ‘Lazy Flies’ – Beck

  1. Dana says:

    A chipper post-apocolypitic tune.

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