We bought one-watched Our Lady fly confetti fly the city die in flames as
Tanks spat amber at the Odeon. A soldier on the podium. One leg, a face
That's splashed with egg... a roadmap stained by cherry brandy, cracking
Jokes about The Jerry. And we snatched his helmet, pissed and blew our
Whistles with the steam. The kettle boiling, so we stamped and screamed for
China tea. We're playing Shanghai in the cloisters, sucking oysters, dipping
Fingers, finding pearls the size of avacado pears. The treasure's there - a
Shame there's nowhere left to spend it... Shall we share the powdered milk
And wait for God?
Our Lady in Kharki (1)
Our lady on the wall selling poppies (2) for Our Boys. Our price. Our choice. we bought one-watched Our Lady fly confetti fly the city die in flames as tanks spat amber at the Odeon. (3) A soldier on the podium. One leg, a face that's splashed with egg... a roadmap stained by cherry brandy, cracking jokes about The Jerry. And we snatched his helmet, pissed (4) and blew our whistles with the steam. The kettle boiling, so we stamped and screamed for China tea. (5) We're playing Shanghai (6) in the cloisters, (7) sucking oysters, dipping fingers, finding pearls the size of avacado pears. (8) The treasure's there -a shame there's nowhere left to spend it... Shall we share the powdered milk (9) and wait for God?
(1) This is another of the "Our Lady" references found in the lyrics of Edward Ka-Spel. Kharki could be a take on khaki, from the poem "The Absent-Minded Beggar"
The Absent-Minded Beggar is an 1899 poem by Rudyard Kipling, famously set to music by Sir Arthur Sullivan. The song was written as part of an appeal by the Daily Mail to raise money for soldiers fighting in the South African War (sometimes known as the Boer War) and their families. Kipling's poem was first published in The Daily Mail on 31 October 1899. The poem was an immediate success. Artist Richard Caton Woodville provided an illustration, titled "A Gentleman in Kharki" (Kipling's spelling of khaki), showing a wounded but defiant British Tommy in battle.
Khaki (pronounced /ˈkɑːkiː/ in Britain and /ˈkækiː/ in the US) (in Persian: خاکی ) is a type of fabric or the colour of such fabric. The name comes from the Persian word khâk (dust/ashes) which came to English from India, specifically via the British Indian Army. khakis: There are two common, and not too dissimilar, definitions of the word "khaki": One is that it is a Hindi word meaning earth-coloured or dust-coloured; The other is that the idiomatic Hindi for faeces is "khaki" and, in fact, many ex-British Army colonialists are familiar with the word "khaki" as the equivalent of the English "shit". Regardless of its precise etymology, "khaki" refers to the colour of uniforms introduced by the army regiments in the 1880s. More accurately, the correct shade of "khaki" is the colour of "Multani Mitti", meaning "the mud of Multan". Multan was a well known military cantonment of British India (now in Pakistan).
(2) For poppies see the note under the song "Poppy Day" from the album "The Tower"
(3) An Odeon is a kind of theater in ancient Greece, smaller than the dramatic theater and roofed over, in which poets and musicians submitted their works to the approval of the public, and contended for prizes; -- hence, in modern usage, the name of a hall for musical or dramatic performances.
(4) Jerry was a nickname given to Germans during the Second World War by soldiers and civilians of the Allied nations, in particular by the British. Although the nickname was originally created during World War I, it didn't find common use until World War II. Jerry has analogues from different eras in Tommy (British), Charlie (Vietnam), Sammy (Somalia), and Ivan (Russians).
The name is likely an alteration of the word German. Others have claimed that the World War I German helmet, shaped like a chamber pot or jeroboam was the initial impetus for creation, although this is almost certainly revisionist history
(5) An article on chinese tea: Chinese tea
(6) Shanghai here could refer to Shanghai Rum, a card game based on gin rummy. Possibly it could refer to the practice of kidnapping people to serve aboard ships.
(7) A cloister (from Latin claustrum) is a covered walk with an open colonnade on one side, running along the walls of buildings that face a quadrangle or garth. (Tangentially, the corridors of the interior of the Tardis in the television show Doctor Who were referred to as cloisters).
(8) The English living in Jamaica called the avocado an alligator pear. Some speculate that they were comparing the skin to that of an alligator. Others say alligator was a corruption of ahuacatl. In Jamaica today the people call the avocado a pear.
(9) Powdered milk is also a common item in UN food aid supplies, fallout shelters, warehouses, and wherever fresh milk is not a viable option. It is widely used in many developing countries because of reduced transport and storage costs (reduced bulk and weight, no refrigerated vehicles). As with other dry foods, it is considered nonperishable, and is favored by survivalists, hikers, and others requiring nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food.
From Edward Ka-Spel:
"Island of Jewels is about a future war, where an individual with an almost unbearable thirst for power lies face down in the stinking pit of his achievements in the penultimate "triumphant" scene. To get to this "pinnacle" he turns the world into his own arena where everyone is surveyed, studied, followed, and snuffed out if they choose to question. Sounds a little familiar, doesn't it... I'll mention no names. The last scene sees the grass growing again...because it always does. "Our Lady in Kharki" is part of this tapestry. "
Our Lady in Kharki