The Tallest Man on Earth

So you see, The Tallest Man on Earth, Kristian Matsson, isn’t tall at all. Swedes. Experts at dealing with bad weather. I love the way he says “daisssies” and “rossses”. Naked emotion:

The Tallest Man on Earth – Graceland (Paul Simon Cover)
b-side single, not on album

As a non-native songwriter, he uses recognizeable chunks of language, and chooses an even more recognizeable accent he can relate to, to create something distinctly his own. Here “blues fall down like hail” instead of rain. Dylan meets Nordic – and: Latin American! – legend in The Wild Hunt and Burden of Tomorrow. Our fake identities come undone in King of Spain and The Gardener.

The Tallest Man on Earth will be in Munich at the 59:1 club on Monday, 9 August. Should be an excellent concert.

Want lyrics etc. ?

The Wild Hunt


There is a Crow Moon comin’ in where you keep looking out
It is the hollow month of March now sweepin’ in
Let’s watch phenomenons arise out of the darkness now
Within the light she is my stormin’ heroine

And old machines abandoned by the ancient races stand
I hear them hummin’ down below in hollow earth
Oh hell I guess I know in a while I will go under too
But just for now I’ll let the spring and storm return

I left my heart to the wild hunt a-comin’
I’ll live until the call
And I plan to be forgotten when I’m gone
Yes I’ll be leavin’ in the fall

And I will sleep out in the glade just by the giant tree
Just to be closer when my spirit’s pulled away
I left a nervous little boy out on the trail today
He’s just a mortal to the shoutin’ cavalcade

I left my heart to the wild hunt a-comin’…

Let’s open up the windows, have Satan departin’ now
And we’ll be even when the blues fall down like hail
Hell, I don’t even care no more about cadejo now
If he’s a white one or a black one on the trail

I left my heart to the wild hunt a-comin’…

Notes:

  • The Crow Moon is the March full moon among some of the Native Americans.
  • A “hollow month” usually refers to a month of 29 days being increased to 30 in a leap year.
  • He might be singing “I live unto the call” which means “for the call”, archaic/biblical language.
  • The white cadejo and the black cadejo are good and bad incarnations a spirit dog who accompanies travelers. From South American folklore.

King of Spain
(from The Wild Hunt)

I never knew I was a lover
Just cause I steal the things you hide
Just cause I focus while we’re dancing
Just cause I offered you a ride

Well I am not from Barcelona
No, I am not even from Madrid
I am a native of the North Pole
And that could mess up any kid

Well if you can reinvent my name
Well if you can redirect my day
I wanna be the king of Spain

And I will settle in Pamplona
And I’ll provoke the bulls with words
And then I’ll send a man to meet them
But it’s fake, so I have heard

And all the senoritas sighing
Will be the fountain of my lies
But while we’re floating in siesta
Will you search for bottles and for knives?

Well if you…

And I’ll wear my boots of Spanish leather
Oh while I’m tightening my crown
I’ll disappear in some flamenco
Perhaps I’ll reach the other side

Why are you stabbing my illusion?
Just cause I stole some eagle’s wings
Because you named me as your lover
Well, I thought I could be anything

Well if you…

Burden of Tomorrow
(from The Wild Hunt)

Oh, I was sent to find the lonesome place
Where I was lost but left a trace
By carving riddles on the lonesome vine

Oh, but rumor has it that I wasn’t born
I just walked in one frosty morn
Into the vision of some vacant mind

Oh, once I held a pony by its flying mane
And once I called the shadow in the turning game
But I will fight this stranger that you should fear
So I won’t be a burden of tomorrow, dear

Oh, a savior on the border of the sun
swings on the chambers of your guns
And tries to shoot the chord and light the path

Oh, but hell I’m just a blind man on the plains
I drink my water when it rains
and live by chance among the lightning strikes

Oh, once I held a glacier to an open flame
and once I fell like wildcat in the falling game
But I will fight this stranger that you should fear
so I won’t be a burden of tomorrow dear

Oh the singer’s on the edge to feed the canyon’s mouth
they will go on forever til they sing you out of town
But I will fight this stranger that you should fear
so I won’t be a burden of tomorrow dear

The Gardener
(from Shallow Grave)

I sense a runner in the garden
Although my judgement’s known to fail
Once built a steamboat in a meadow
Cos I’d forgotten how to sail

I know the runner’s going to tell you
There ain’t no cowboy in my hat
So now he’s buried by the lilies
So I could stay the tallest man in your eyes, babe

I sense a spy up in the chimney
From all the evidence I’ve burned
I guess he’ll read it in the smoke now
And soon to ashes I’ll return

I know the spy is going to tell you
It’s not my flag up in the pole
So now he’s buried by the daisies
So I could stay forever more in your eyes, babe

I sense a leak inside my phone now
From all the lies that I have told
I know he has your private number
And soon he’ll make that vicious call

I know the leak is going to tell you
There ain’t no puppy in your leash
So now he’ll fertilize the roses
So I could stay the king you see
In your eyes, babe

So now we’re dancing through the garden
And what a garden I have made
And now that death will grow my jasmine
I find it soothing I’m afraid

Now there is no need for suspicion
There ain’t no frog kissing your hand
I won’t be lying when I tell you
That I’m a gardner, I’m a man
In your eyes babe

couldn’t resist adding this
singer-songwriter of the week :-) englisch lernen mit liedern
blame it on the weather

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

One thought on “The Tallest Man on Earth”

  1. I was just studying (!) Scott Thornbury’s A-Z on G is for Gerund http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/g-is-for-gerund/ and ventured to leave an airy comment that needs substantiation:

    “I was noticing that The Tallest Man On Earth, that Swedish songwriter, uses the -ing form a lot, especially as he can shorten it to -in’ … maybe because it makes him sound more like Bob Dylan.”

    Instant lyrics survey: Friend Tallest Man actually uses -ing mostly for verbs in the continuous form, though in “The wild hunt a-comin’” (with the “Crow Moon comin’ in”) he does use things like “let’s have Satan departin’ now”. I think most of the other -ing forms are actually participles. Gerunds are more noun-like and often would work with a “the” (I’m interested in learning). By contrast, participles are more verb-like (I’m sitting here, learning about participles and gerunds).

      There is a Crow Moon comin’ in
      you keep lookin’ out (keep doing sth = gerund)
      March now sweepin’ in
      watch phenomenons arise out of the darkness now (watch sth happen/happening: he chooses bare infinitive over participle)
      she is my stormin’ heroine (participle adjective)
      I hear them hummin’ down below (participle)
      I’ll be leavin’ in the fall (continuous)
      the wild hunt a-comin’ (participle)
      let’s have Satan departin’ now (have so. do/doing sth; he chooses the participle over the bare infinitive)

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