Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eno -- "Mother Whale Eyeless" (1974)

What do I care?
I'm wasting fingers like I have them to spare
Plugging holes in the Zuider Zee

A couple of weeks ago, 2 or 3 lines featured another Eno song as part of the "Law School Favorites" series, which is well on its way to interminability.  (Don't you dare doubt for a second that interminability is a legitimate word.  2 or 3 lines does not make mistakes.)

I said at the time that I had a hard time deciding which Eno song to feature, and so was planning to feature several Eno songs.

I was pretty sure that this song was going to be one of them, but something happened a few days ago that cinched that.

Tony LaRussa
I was reading Baseball Prospectus writer Jay Jaffe's commentary on game 5 of the World Series -- the crazy one that featured not one, but two ill-considered hit-and-run attempts plus a truly inexplicable failure of communication involving the Cardinals' dugout and their bullpen -- when I came across this line:  

Wasting fingers like he had them to spare, La Russa again gave the Rangers an out, this time via a Furcal sacrifice. 
I wonder if even one in a thousand Baseball Prospectus readers picked up the Eno reference.  

And I wonder how Mr. Jaffe learned of that song.  From what I've been able to find out about him online, it appears that he was maybe four years old when Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) album was released in 1974.

Just another example of the kismet that follows 2 or 3 lines -- which has got to be the most serendipity-kissed blog on the Internet.

I don't know what this song means (assuming it means anything at all) and I don't really care.  Combine it with a big glass of 2007 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot and I guarantee you'll have a big smile on your face.

Columbia Crest Merlot
By the way, the Zuider Zee is a large, shallow bay of the North Sea that once covered almost 2000 square miles.

Shortly after World War I ended, the Dutch began work on a 20-mile-long dam that sealed off the Zuider Zee from the North Sea.  Some of the Zuider Zee was drained and reclaimed for farms and housing, while the rest was converted into a freshwater lake -- the largest lake in western Europe, as a matter of fact.

Eno is presumably talking about plugging holes in the Zuider Zee dam -- which the Dutch call the Afsluitdijk ("Enclosure Dam").

The Afsluitdjik, which enclosed the Zuider Zee
Here's "Mother Whale Eyeless":

Click here if you'd like to buy the song from Amazon:

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