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Episode 03 Love Me Once More

February 26, 2011

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Words and Music-Richard Allen
Produced by David Barratt at The Abattoir of Good Taste

Vocal and Guitar-William Thaumatrope
All other instruments-David Barratt

NARRATIVE

There is a hierophantic quality to passion, a deep esoteric mystery in which the beloved person, by being adored through their body, seems to be discovered beyond the physical, tactile plane of existence. Most religions, with one or two exceptions like non-Brahminical Hinduism, are squeamish about human sexuality. Christianity, with its story of the fall and original sin and its image of Christ as a sexless or celibate man is one of the worst offenders. But passion, or sexual desire informed by love, is one domain where the spiritual is intimated in the sense it is where one feels part of a larger whole that transcends the self.

Skeptics, and there are many of them among the intellectuals, will commonly maintain either that a) romantic love does not exist or b) it exists only as an ideology such as courtly love or c) it is no different from sexual desire. They are encouraged in all three views by some of the pronouncements of psychoanalysis that tends to view the expression of love as simply an adult mystification of sex. They are wrong. For while fantasy or idealization is a necessary part of romantic love and romantic love is impossible to imagine without it, alone, it is not sufficient to sustain romantic love. As we all know, sex is perfectly possible without love, but equally obviously, love is not reducible to sexual passion. For example, the love one feels for a parent or child, though different in each case, is not based on sexual desire; it is an emotion derived from deep familiarity and prolonged attachment to a unique individual. Romantic love combines sexual passion and idealization with a respect for and admiration of the other in their uniqueness and difference: it is a true meeting of souls. This is why it has held pride of place in the history of human culture, not because of some massive deception wrought by social ideology or human psychology.

At the same time, I have long been fascinated by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo where love does prove to be a massive hoax. The plot is a complex one, but in essence, the hero, Scottie, played by James Stewart, is assigned to follow a woman, let us call her Madeleine, played by Kim Novak, whom he is led to believe is possessed by the spirit of a dead ancestor. He falls in love and, possessed by her, seeks, like Orpheus, to rescue her from death’s possession. But she appears to die. In the second half of the film, he re-finds her in the person of another, Judy, whom he obsessively and fetishistically re-makes into the image of his lost love, until he discovers that Judy and Madeleine are the same person, that Madeleine never existed, and it was all a trick. Does this mean that Scottie’s love for Madeleine in the first half of the film was not love, but merely a fantasy or idealization cut to the measure of his desire? Well, no. Scottie’s desire for Madeleine, expressed through Hitchcock’s cinematic vocabulary, is a fantasy or idealization. Yet this idealization also expresses Scottie’s love, which Judy, in spite of her trickery, reciprocates. It is this love that speaks to his loss. But it is also a love that does not have the opportunity to absorb reality for reality is contrived so as to appear in sharp contradiction with it. Scottie never really gets to know Madeleine and can never get to know her and therefore love itself, in Vertigo, appears but an illusion or a fiction. But, as Hitchcock himself liked to say, it is only a movie.

LYRIC

Love me once more with your brown eyes
Wrap my body in your thighs
Warm me all over with your breath
And let me feel the softness of your flesh

Run your lips across my face
As I hold you in my embrace
Fold me again in your strong arms
And I’ll surrender to your charms

Cup my hand against your cheek
Love me, love me, till I’m weak
Sooth my soul with your caress
And let me rest my head upon your breast

(Encircle me with your black hair
Let me stroke your skin so fair
Let me enter in your heart
And I’ll know our love will never part)

Love me once more with your brown eyes
Wrap my body in your thighs
Warm me all over with your breath
And let me feel the softness of your flesh

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From → Thaumatropemusic

One Comment
  1. Geoff permalink

    I reckon any lady who had this written for her (or dedicated to her) would be delighted. geoff

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