Swing Down Mothership
By crispyw, Aug 21 2018 10:25AM
Chris writes: I love old gospel music, and 'borrowed' the first line of the chorus from the traditional spiritual 'Swing Down Chariot' – the Old Testament tale of Ezekiels vision of a fiery chariot from the sky. I also grew up with Erik Von Danikens infamous ancient astronaut theories in the ‘Chariots of The Gods’ books where he claimed that Ezekiels actually saw a UFO and went on to try and prove aliens were regularly landing on earth thousands of years ago. For the record, I don’t believe a word of any of it.
The Close Encounters film and Parliament's Mothership Connection were also an influence - the idea of an alien mothership coming to save us. I also love the Douglas Adams Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books.
Mix that all up and you get a big heartfelt plea to just hitch a ride and get away from the madness of the world in a massive rant at the general stupidity of the human race, all done through the medium of a big space-age rock gospel show tune. I had the main tune, Dan wrote the middle 8 and Rob did the horn arrangements. Getting Peanut and Dan from JC’s Hopeless Sinners involved was inspired, and some of their entourage and a few other friends made up a hastily improvised gospel choir. Definitely the song with the most personnel involved and was great fun to record.
Johnny Cage writes: There was a bright light way up in the sky. A shattering of shop windows.. A sonic boom.. 'You 'ave been chosen' bellowed the mysterious Cardiff voice of some intergalactic musical minesweeper. 'You 'ave been chosen for your unifying, hope bringing power of the Country Gospel Blues, for lo, though thou art Hopeless Sinners, pub church is in right now, and we 'ave a space bar bra. Step into the light. Gabalpha Centauri awaits you.
Your mission is to heal the world, one Groove at a time. Don't be the one left behind'. And so, with that final word, we boarded the Mothership and cut ourselves a bad ass record with a crew the likes no one has ever seen, & if we don't save humanity from its inhumanity, perhaps we never will again...
Dan writes: A quick word on middle 8s - they work best when they sit outside the narrated song. In a Day in the Life by Lennon and McCartney, The McCartney part is the noise of the central character’s day outside the dreamy meanderings of Lennon’s central piece. We also have two lyricists and realised near to the end of making these songs that getting a second one to chip in a middle 8 had the effect of causing the changed tone, “Wandering into the Twilight” is the other example. The middle 8 discusses what would happen if the Mothership did eventually arrive (monstrous scramble) and what prospects the human race has of survival anyway (slim).
Stirring stuff. I for one can do with feel good music like this. Hope is always good.