The City & The Tower

The City & The Tower

This is a song about language. Specifically, it’s about how increasingly difficult it is to communicate in an internet-enabled world - everything has connotations, everything has unknown context. That’s what the myth of the Tower of Babel means to me .

It’s also a moment of self-reference, harking back to the track Lungs off the final album by my old band Our Lost Infantry (it’s also referenced again by my youngest sibling and ex-Our Lost Infantry bandmate in their band itoldyouiwouldeatyou’s track Young American)

Tie you down
In a bind of days gone by and needful things
Cage the bird but still you have to clip its wings
You can’t change the tune it sings
Trial by fire
Becomes the day to day, a routine test
As if the sentence meted out was said in jest
Til we all are dispossessed

Belief comes cheap
A rumour carried on the air
A waking sleep
For all in love and war is fair
A staged retreat
Letting bridges burn

Duty binds
Til orphaned sense becomes a dying breed
All meaning lost between the moving parts of speech
Traps the tongue behind the teeth
These narrow lines
With Beeching cuts made silent, over time
Til protocol makes virtue into crime
Tears the signal from the sign

Belief runs deep
Running through the cracks between
Awake and sleep
A rag to wipe the canvas clean
A staged retreat
Letting bridges burn

Salt the earth
Dam the river
Poison the well
Bar the gates
Pull up the ladder
Sound the horn and ring the bell

Salt the earth
Dam the river
March us into hell
We’ll take the scars
And we’ll remember
We were there, when Babel fell

© T Ashworth 2018