This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 423,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Review of "Lose It All (Ladies and Gentlemen)" on Decker's album "Long Days"

"Long Days" track #1. Lose It All (Ladies and Gentlemen)

Decker’s album “Long Days” opens with a richly layered ballad “Lose It All (Ladies and Gentlemen).” It is one of the musically strongest songs on album and includes the drumming talents of Sedona’s Eddy Barattini.

The song was inspired by 2007 Paul Thomas Anderson movie “There Will Be Blood.”

“First off, it’s the most tragic movie I’ve seen in my life,” Decker said. He found a particular resonance with oilman Daniel Plainview, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, a “phenomenally driven, manly” character who ends up betraying love and betraying himself and losing his mind on account of it.

Thematically, the song serves as a metaphor for the choices Decker made in his younger days through the voice of Plainview. In taking Plainview’s speeches to small towns as he tries to swindle them from their oil reserves, Decker re-imagines the lyrics into an autobiographical context.

“My relation is to the animosity he felt at the end of the movie when he’s lost his mind in regret and how it overcomes him at the end of the movie,” Decker said.

The opening voiceover echoes both Plainview’s early speeches to crowds but later eerily includes echoes of charismatic Rev. Eli Sunday (Paul Dano) faith healing scenes in the film.

The chorus offers Decker the simple choice, “You could have it all / but oh, you could lose it all.”

The final section of the song relates Decker’s interpretation of the film’s climatic scene, but with his own soul seemingly on the line, being figuratively fought over by Plainview, lost in his own greed and despair, and Sunday, a hollow man of God.

“I’ve made a lot of bad choices in my life. At some point we all have to look at what paint us into a corner. We’ll never be the same or beyond redemption,” Decker said. “I don’t think I am, but I’ve certainly lost a lot of nights of sleep.”

Lyrics for "Lose It All (Ladies And Gentlemen)"

Well, if I am a man
then give up on me now
I’ll scratch around and then
I’ll put you in the ground
these words are insincere
that come out of my mouth
but I think you will agree if I just
believe it now

you could have it all
but oh, you could lose it all

well, I don't need to look right through you
to take away just all I need
my back is strong, my will is good
but I can't get rid of these stains
I drank a lake, I drained a sea
I watched the sun just turn to gray
I’m a broken man, down on my knees
it’s not in you what's inside me

you could have it all

speak in a whisper not a shout
before I cast these demons out
you're not a prophet you’re not a saint
you’re not a healer, we're not the same
so tell me now just what you meant -
what Jesus did and what Jesus said
so tell me now you lunatic,
won't you stop your sniveling?

you could have it all

The CD release party for Decker's debut album "Long Days" is Friday, Oct. 2 at Ken's Creekside, 251 Hwy. 179, Sedona.
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