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I Fanboy J

"Blood in the Sand"

Posted on 2007.08.16 at 06:00

So, as I walked my mile on Wednesday the 15th, I listened to six songs by j_on_lj, and I want to talk just a bit about one, "Blood in the Sand."

Click Here to Hear "Blood in the Sand"

No, goddammit, I mean it! Click! Listen! Pay attention!

Here are the lyrics:

Blood in the Sand
Music and Lyrics by j_on_lj

Twelve steps beyond the border
A shot fired through my leg
(It's) Just my luck, (I've) been shot three times today

With one horse, a mule and water
And her daddy's fat nest egg
My only need was to blaze a trail away

  Blood in the sand
  Let it represent all for which I stand
  Let the red rocks rise up from this curs-ed land
  She should never forgive me
    But I hope someday
    She will understand

(She wanted) Me and I had to have her
Even though she wasn't mine
A new son-in-law had her hand but not her heart

As I snuck out of the manor
With all the diamonds from the mine,
A memory, and other works of art

  Blood in the sand
  Reminds me of the moment that we spanned
  Of the stolen ring not on her tender hand
  She should never have released me
    But I hope someday 
    She will understand

   (And) I dragged my carcass through the desert
   Escaping my own fate
   Hallucinations filled with pleasure
   While buzzards congregate
   Just one things kept me from going
   A hope we all await...

Now I stumble through a pasture
On a Mexican plateau
My wounds have healed but it's been a painful time

Seems like yesterday, not last year
I was running from my foes
It's so nice of them to pay for (all) my crimes
  Blood in the sand
  It's what I left behind to become a better man
  And there she sits, at the place that we had planned
  She has come to be beside me
    And I'm glad Today
    She did understand

And here's the one little bit I want to call attention to:

(She wanted) Me and I had to have her
Even though she wasn't mine
A new son-in-law had her hand but not her heart

Now that last line seems strangely constructed, doesn't it? Parsed literally, it seems to suggest that she's married to her Son-in-Law! But we don't parse it literally. Instead, we know it refers to the grizzled old Master of the Manor, her wealthy, opportunistic father, owner of the ranch, owner of the mine, "owner" of his daughter, who he has sold, married off in some political union to tie another family, a useful family, into his dynasty.

The whole song revolves around this character, he is the axis around whom it moves, he dominates it -- But he is never once refered to directly. We only know him through the malign influence he exerts over others.

I think that's an amazing bit of writing.


harrysmom at 2007-08-16 12:56 (UTC) (Link)
I see what you are saying about the lyrics. I usally try to listen to the story a song talks about and I like what this one has to say.

Great writing.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-08-16 13:10 (UTC) (Link)
I think Geoff is such an amazing talent. He approaches songs with such strong narrative and characterizational vision, you really learn and know these people, and their stories, in such a short space of time, a small span of words.
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