Clearly, this entire project has been a huge mistake.
I know I usually throw in a link to the day’s song at the end of my post, but today I’m going to put it right up here, so please: listen all the way through, and imagine the disappointment I felt when this came up on my iTunes this morning.
What am I supposed do with that, huh?
Like, I know that I said I wanted the randomizer to serve me up some early stuff so that I could develop a better appreciation for it, but I am an idiot and I sometimes say things that are completely wrong. I also said that I would stop doing random songs if I got several in a row off of Taboo VI: The Homecoming, and clearly my limit was actually much lower than that.
One. It was one song.
Can you imagine a version of this write-up that doesn’t sound ridiculous? I love the Mountain Goats, but if I really sit here and try to dredge up some great, universal truth out of “Solomon Revisited,” I’ll be doing a disservice to myself and to you. I’d also be doing a disservice to John Darnielle by over-analyzing what was clearly meant to be a dumb joke song, but I don’t really care about his feelings right now because I’m so mad at this song for making me write about it.
But, y’know, we’re already here, right? I might as well take a swing at it. So: what is “Solomon Revisited?”
Simply put, it is the story of a young man who has a radio. His radio is a source of endless fascination and amusement. If you come to see him, it doesn’t matter what sort of outside stimuli you offer, be photographs, conversation or the pleasures of the flesh; he will always return to his radio. Is it a newly purchased radio? Does it hold some sort of special significance, or is it celebrated simply for operating appropriately ? Does he prefer the AM or FM stations? Does he even turn it on, or is the functionality secondary to his aesthetic appreciation of the radio? We do not know, we simply do not.
Even this early in his career, Darnielle knew the power of withholding information. No answer he could have provided would be as satisfying as the mystery at the core of this song: who is this young man, and what is his deal with this radio?
Perhaps the answer lies in the song’s title. At first glance, it seems like an oblique, almost esoteric reference to the Biblical figure of Solomon. Solomon, a just and great but ultimately fallible king, was well-known for his wisdom and judgment. He is traditionally considered the author of several Biblical books, including Proverbs and the Song of Solomon. Could it be that
Okay, I’ll level with you: I was mostly free-styling that last bit, and only as I was writing it did it dawn on me that the title of this song might be an incredibly dumb joke about the “song” of Solomon, which is admittedly unlikely but the mere possibility of it has made me so mad that I don’t want to write anymore tonight.