It´s a satire on the spiritual dogma which says that free-capitalism is the economic expression of divine liberty. The affluent choose to buy into this politico-religious idea as it gives a moral imperative for their comfortable lives, even a sense of higher purpose, just as the ancient Romans coopted Xtianity into their imperial worldview to justify their own earthly concerns.
The song basically says that as this cant is stripped away, their financial hegemony is challenged and their world is rocked, they´ll now, as people always do when in dire straits, remember the God they have utilised and seek spiritual shelter. But what if God has left them? They would only have the God of Earthly Things, their true God, to whom to appeal.
So this is that. A desperate prayer to the God of Earthly Things in a time of crisis, culminating in a prayer to the Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun) the real God of Constantine the Great.
(A note: Religion in late antiquity - I realise it is an immensely hip area but please do not send me underwear or improper solicitations as a result of the excitements this might stir up as I am a staid man by nature).
The creeping Roman horns during the prayer section are intended to sound like the sunrise creeping across a dark landscape and the sun itself can be heard - it is struck like a chime and remains in the sky for this section. It´s all extremely literal, pictorial stuff. The first part of the prayer refers of course to the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, one of the key events in Christian history, the commencement of Christian domination over the Roman then Western world.
While the part of the second verse which is set in a London sports bar might sound formless, if you listen you might be able to make out a revving Ferrari carrying the melody line to the track in the distance. I worked in the City of London for years and there was often some tit revving a supercar within earshot. It appears to be what they are for.
Well... Interesting times.
Through liquid crystal balls,down
Into mirrored pools we gaze
Above, the heavens writhe themselves alive.
The veil of stars is rent
And there, revealed, behind:
A cosmic battlefield
In infinite design.
The hand that span the astrolabe
Was that which moved the markets round.
We knew it was the hand of Love
Though never did we look above.
When slotward dropped that coin
Behind us, slow, into its money box
Below, and rose with gain, again,
Each day but brighter, ever greater,
Our faith in Decent Things, we knew -
Our Great Appreciation - kept
In check this stuff above whilst
Down on Earth we bent our necks.
To treasuries of cooling coals, to mountain piles of ash
Through appetites, then fevered dreams, then fantasies of loss.
Now petrified, we hide our faces down to our concerns,
And like the willows on the banks who drank the worries of
Their passing world.
And though we bow our heads it is but to our mirrored pools
We gaze along our falling tears and wonder how we now appear
And as that latest set of rushes runs upon our private screens
We sob our woes but as of real woe, we mostly nothing know.
When our numbers ceased to work
We cursed, at first, the broken cosmos
We knew our world was half collapsed
But reason bought us out from that loss.
So now we turn to face our Sun
For greater goods we raise concern.
We raise our heads into His dusk
To pray the day, again, return.
·····Prayer to the Sol Invictus·····
Brighter, bright against the Sun, two golden arches glorious,
Which called to us infinity (which is a kind of cross between comfort and variety)
And yea! In faith we followed Thee right out of human history,
For did those soldiers by that bridge awaiting battle orders know
The Eagle's wings which mantled them now circumscribed Creation, too?
In darkness we were lost until we felt Thy warmth, O Holy Sun,
Arising through the storms of error, spilling rivulets of light
Through all of action and relation. And Yea! That light was numbered so,
In numberings unfathomable to all but Thine own eye.
And though Thou hast fucked up, O Lord, in providence and faith, we know
Thy Highest Son, The Holy Market Infinite, who sits beneath Thee at His mill
Will turn His wheel and draw towards us Things To Buy and Things To Sell
From where all forms pour forth:
And darker, darker, smiles the sky
And closer, closer, grows its black
We drop our heads into the earth
To beg the soil take us back.
The Sun slumps through another story
The winds knot and wind the tides
The dark sky smiles upon us
'To whom', we sob, 'do we now write'?
But we are now in another story
In a book in a different tongue
No more will we write our own parts
Nor orchestrate the song.
released 27 February 2013
Made by Ian Crause
all rights reserved