Monday, November 7, 2016

“In a Pigsty” by Slow Dakota – A Song Review

     I played the harp in a pigsty, thinking if I played for long enough they might.” It’s meant to be complimentary when we ask, “Who comes up with lyrics like that?” Depending upon your level of attentiveness, the lyrics are either your focus or almost nonexistent. If you’re following along with the lyrics copied in this post, you find yourself somewhat absorbed in the imagery (a harp in a pigsty?) or in questioning the meaning. On the other hand, the lyrics are easily ignored because they are unlikely to have a personal connection with the listener. Then, the emotion of the instruments and vocal styling is the focus.

     “In a Pigsty” belongs to Slow Dakota of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Slow Dakota is fronted by multi-instrumentalist PJ Sauerteig. But the emotive, sometimes religion-connected music requires other contributors. “In a Pigsty” is on the third album, which is entitled “The Ascension of Slow Dakota.” The album includes the following credits:
  • PJ Sauerteig: piano, vocals, dulcimer, guitar, ukulele, keyboards, percussion, sampling
  • Sahil Ansari: acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar, organs, percussion
  • Sangeeta Reddy: vocals
  • Corey Dansereau: trumpet
  • Caitlin Kelliher: upright bass
  • Sarah Sauerteig: vocals
  • Rebecca Borman: vocals
  • Hyehyun Hwang: vocals
  • KatieBeth Hollman: vocals  
         A Next-Day Update:
PJ Sauerteig sent an email after reading this post. He provided the following insight into the lyrics:
[T]he image of someone playing a harp to pigs is actually a critique of most music online journalism these days - wherein hype is everything, ad money rules, and no one takes time to actually listen and meditate on the intricacies of any of the music. The assembly-line moves too fast for careful inspection.

 “In a Pigsty” by Slow Dakota

Lyrics of "In a Pigsty" By Slow Dakota
I played the harp
In a pigsty,
Thinking if I played for long enough they might

Turn away
From their feed
So that I could steal a handful of their beans.

Sleeping on
A pile of hayseed,
I will sink until I’m underneath the floor;

And like Job
Said to his Lord:
“You will look for me but I will be no more.”

I have knocked
With friendly face
On the door that keeps the world in its place;

When no one came,
I realized
That I was knocking on the front door of my house.

So this is my
Quiet ascension;
I’m not one for tearing schisms in the sky:

A little meat,
A little bread,
And my parents holding candles by my bed.

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