Been & Going


[TRENCHES] The Seven Deadly Songs Pt. 2

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Back to the formidable list of the Seven Deadly Songs. Read the first part here.

4. Bohemian Rhapsody

In the second century, ancient Celts wielded powerful magic to craft a small, second moon called “New Bohemia” from asteroidal debris stolen from Druid standing stone sites. It is said inhabitants of this paradise were sustained purely by music, the “sweet wind which blows any way, like fate itself.” It was not uncommon for residents to live for hundreds of years, speaking a now-lost tonal language that relied on conversational harmony.
Not having any of this, in the fourth century, the demon Aeshma ascended to spread wrath and fury to the slender, bardic ponces. Perverting New Bohemia with a bloody citadel, the demon forced its new subjects to suffer in prisons where music was outlawed for hundreds of years. Once a century, the demon Beelzebub would visit to cast a curse upon the prisoners, causing them all to speak in unison, a favorite gift Aeshma called the “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
In the seventh century, a descendant of the prophet Zoroaster was born and ordained as an avatar of Ahuramazda, the Brilliant Wisdom. Tasked with slaying the demon Aeshma and returning the inhabitants of New Bohemia to Earth, where their music and ability to speak in harmony instead of cruel unison could be restored. After a pitched battle, Aeshma fell, but not before the demon Beelzebub infected the great hero with a terrible curse that bound his soul to a bowl of burning cinders for over a thousand years.
A great time later, after the New Bohemians were returned to their moon and set adrift throughout the solar system to later orbit a planet with far fewer demons, Ahuramazda took pity on the hero and re-incarnated him as a human child. The child’s name was Farrokh Bulsara and displayed the prodigious gifts of the New Bohemians from an early age. One day, the Brilliant Wisdom visited Farrokh and gave him a vision of New Bohemia’s history, from the horrible battle to its new home in orbit around the planet Mercury. Rising to his feet, the man declared it his life’s work to commemorate the great work that had been done so long ago, taking the mantle of Freddie Mercury.
The first time “Bohemian Rhapsody” was ever heard, it was performed in its entirety by Freddie Mercury, alone. The strain of recounting such a story – as well as singing the complicated harmonies a capella and alone – put enormous stress on Freddie’s vocal cords, an injury he would never fully recover from. He would continue to sing of great heroes and their feats until his mortal body’s death.
Invoking the tantalizing power of the music of ancient Celts opens a portal to war-torn New Bohemia. The demon Aeshma reaches through this to all those who listen to the saga, causing them to thrash about in wrathful rage, only to be slain again by the rich harmonious refrain.
There are some who suggest that, if one is not cautious enough to finish the song – or worse, play it backwards – Aeshma may rise from the distant past to steal the rich voices of us today, much as it does to anyone foolish enough to attempt this song on their own.

3. Sweet Caroline

On the 7th of December in 1913, a powerful Oni demon from Japan awoke from exiled slumber in the middle of an exhibition match between the White Sox and Giants. Furious, yet grateful for its release, the Oni attached itself to the strongest player from the winning team, the White Sox. The pesky demon rode back to the United States with the team, taking up residence at Comisky Park and wreaking minor havoc, mostly in latrines.
In 1919, after the “Black Sox” loss to the Cincinnati Reds, the demon lost interest in the team and wandered the streets of Chicago, making mischief here and there, waiting for a powerful “red” victor to haunt.
All was more or less well until Game 3 of the 1932 world series. After a spectacular display by a somewhat celebrated player by the name of George Herman¬†“Babe”¬†Ruth Jr., the demon became enamored of the mystical energy surrounding the Bambino, drinking deep from a gypsy curse placed upon him by the frustrated girlfriend of a theatre producer. In the demon’s twisted understanding, the combined strength of the “Red” and its treasured symbol, the “Sox,” presented an opportunity to rain misery on a scale it had dreamed of since being so rudely awakened nineteen years prior.
The demon – now referring to itself as the Bamboni – relocated itself by its own means to its new shrine, Fenway Park, where it proceeded to utterly ruin the career of the Red Sox for many decades to come.
That is, until a powerful wizard who rose to prominence as a musical entertainer recorded a powerful binding charm in 1969. Calling his power from precious stones, Neil Diamond reached into the future and crafted the spell with the knowledge that it would one day be played at the park, thwarting Bamboni’s mischief by incremental measures until the demon was beat back in 2004.
As a desperate attempt to remain a troublesome (if no longer corporeal) force, the demon left Fenway and sought refuge in the spaces between the binding words of the song’s chorus and refrain. To this very day, anywhere the song is played amidst groups in revelry (of which only one need have blood of Bostonians), the Bamboni calls the crowd to chant in the quiet spaces of the song so that it may sneak out and work its terrible mischief on all those gathered.

And if nothing else, it’s a fucking great way to rile up a crowd of Massholes, which is reason enough to leave it alone.

2. Don’t Stop Believin’

An anthem of broken hearts pieced together from the travelogue of a band of wayfaring holy men doomed to an interminable quest, most people sing this as a tribute to the 2003 movie “Old School.” They do not realize that this fable of near-loss and woe is a talisman against the endless tricks of Satan himself. Causing the lovelorn and faithless to doubt their convictions for decades, the mighty necromancer Steve Perry used the power of his enchanted voice to bind the parade of hopeless souls to the strength they feel lacking in every low moment.
Singing this song in a bar is relatively easy, because you don’t have to sing a single word. The power in the verses is strong enough to summon the voice from anyone who hears it, united in defiance of the Devil’s perverse will. Try humming bits of it to yourself while walking down the street; you may frighten those who walk in the Dark Prince’s shadow. The enchantment brings peace and contentment to all those stuck on a fruitless journey, except perhaps the Filipino dude they got to replace Steve Perry. I promise I’m not bitter because, after a disappointing audition, they decided not to take me.

1. The Unknowable Horror

The last and most powerful song is a peculiar beast. The Assyrian demon Pazuzu seized upon the upstart Karaoke backing track company known as “Sunfly” and imprinted its likeness in the minds of those working there. Pazuzu lurks in the intro to every song, waiting to find the piece most resonant to the assembled company and strikes out with the fury of the southwestern winds. He brings drought and storms hiding in the most-played (and subsequently often most-butchered) piece from any establishment.
This could be a little-known yet oddly well-appreciated 80s synth-pop hit, or Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus.
The warning signs that Pazuzu is attacking are a pronounced dryness in the throat, a desire to leave the bar immediately and possibly a massive brawl breaking out somewhere in the bar. If three comely lasses of uncertain virtue begin to dance in revelry before the stage without their shoes, this can also indicate the thrall of the Scourge of the Southeast.

Go with peace, and know that dark things sleep beneath. I have to back and watch all of Buffy and Angel in sequence.

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