The Legendary Pink Dots:Belladonna Lyrics

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The Legendary Pink Dots
This song is performed by The Legendary Pink Dots.
Sea blue marshmallow eyes.
Belladonna sees you- it's just a disguise.
She sees nothing but grey.
Ice cool, shaken not stirred.
Whisper only the word,
She would wash the day away.
And as I faded through the years,
She found an answer to the tears.
It wasn't wise,
but no, no humble mortal
ever matched those eyes.
Pretty name for a slave.
Starburst shouts from the grave,
"I'll remember our dawn."
Pretty name for a slave.
Starburst shouts from the grave,
"I'll remember our dawn."


Belladonna, more commonly known as deadly night-shade, devil's cherries, devil's herb, divale, dwale, dwayberry, great morel, naughty man's cherries, and poison black cherry, is a perennial herb that has been valued for its medicinal properties for over five centuries. It was thought to be an herb tended by the Devil himself, except on Walpurgis Night, when the Devil retired to prepare a witches' sabbath. On that night, the plant metamorphosed into an enchanting lady, lovely but deadly to behold. This plant contains potent alkaloids, which can produce hallucinations, so wine for Bacchanalian orgies was spiked with belladonna, which yielded frenzy and hysteria. There were, of course, many evil uses. However, on a romantic note, one of the first widespread uses of the herb was purely a cosmetic one. Sixteenth century Italian and Spanish women reportedly applied belladonna solutions to their eyes to dilate the pupils and achieve a dreamy and supposedly more desirable appearance (hence the name belladonna, which is Italian for 'beautiful lady').

The poisonous substance is extracted from deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) and from which the drug atropine is obtained. Atropine has powerful effects on the parasympathetic nervous system, blocking nerve transmissions. With the parasympathetic nervous system out of action, the sympathetic system is left to function unopposed. Thus, atropine mimics some of the stimulatory actions of the sympathetic nervous system and adrenaline. Small doses cause the heart rate to increase. Atropine is used in some cough mixtures for the treatment of bronchitis and whooping cough. It is also used to dilate the pupils for eye examination, relieve peptic ulcers, and to relax the smooth muscle of the intestines and stomach before a general anaesthetic.

Also, Amaryllis Belladonna (am-a-ril-lus bel-a-don-na) Nicknames: Belladonna Lily, Resurrection Lily, Naked Lady, Brunsvigia Rosea, Jersey Lily, Barbados Lily, Guernsey Lily, Madeira Lily. Family: Amaryllidaceae. Colors: Light Pink, White. Blooms in the fall. Needs to be root-bound to bloom, may take several years to establish. Named after amaryllis, the Greek beauty and bella donna which, as stated above means beautiful lady in Italian. Belladonna also means poisonous. Whenever you see belladonna in the botanical world it means that the plant is deadly but that can be good because it also means it is deer and rodent resistant.

According to the classical poets Theocritius, Ovid, and Virgil, Amaryllis was a virginal nymph, timid and shy but with a spine of steel. She fell head over heels in love with Alteo, an icy-hearted shepherd reputed to be as handsome as Apollo and as strong as Hercules, and determined that she would be true only to him, no matter what the consequences. Indifferent to her charms, Alteo claimed his only desire was that a new flower be brought to him, a flower that had never before existed in the world. Amaryllis consulted the Oracle at Delphi and was instructed to pierce her heart with a golden arrow at Alteo’s door. This she did, dressed in maidens white, for thirty consecutive nights, dripping blood all the while. The shepherd finally opened his door to discover a flower which had sprung from the blood of her heart. The flower was named Amaryllis. Here we have the history of the introduction of Amaryllis Belladonna to Greece from South Africa. It caused quite a commotion then and still does today for anyone fortunate enough to find them for sale. Various types of trade (spice, gold, diamonds, and sugar which in turn brought slaves from Africa to other parts of the world to work in the sugar and tobacco fields) were very important to the distribution of the Amaryllis Belladonna as well as all South African Plants.

Belladonnas were widely cultivated by the Romans and Greeks and later by the seafaring and trading powers Portugal, Spain and Italy. The bulbs are still found in gardens of nobles in major cities, trading ports,church gardens, and around plantation houses of wealthy merchants. Amaryllis Belladonna are also known as naked ladies because the greenery comes up first in early summer then dies back. Then in late summer a naked spike that resembles a cobra emerges out of the ground and then pops open produces many blooms that are a soft pink color. They smell like Bazooka bubble gum and last for a long time in the garden and as a cut flower. They can not be forced inside to bloom. The amaryllis bulbs sold in autumn to bloom indoors are hippeastrum bulbs from South America and are not hardy outside.

Here in this song, Belladonna appears to be a character who, though has beautiful eyes of blue only sees the world in grey. She sheds tears for years - because she is a slave? Ultimately she chooses death. The speaker of this piece remembers her great beauty. Perhaps like Belladonna the drug she can "wash the day away" by making time meaningless with her hallucinatory effects. The speaker could be referring to a dawn they spent together, or a "dawn" as in a shared realisation.

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