Ready For Drowning

Ready For Drowning: 4/Great

Probably my favourite song from This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, it seemed to takes years for fans in general and the band itself to catch up to the fact that this is a flawless song. For years after the release I would talk about how much I loved this song, while people I spoke to who owned the album couldn’t even remember it. During particular hyperbolic moments, I even list this as one of the best songs ever written, mentioning its perfect cyclical construction which ends like it begins, how it has a wonderfully defined beginning, middle, end, how it takes many facets of the band’s psyche and style and spills them, and how it’s melodies, guitars, and vocals are nigh on impossible to top. That whistle sound in the intro, followed by acoustics, followed by organ, followed by electric blast – perfection; the bizarre piano led verses, the story-telling lyrics unlike anything else the band has done, the build up to the chorus, the explosive tumbling guitar riff, and the chorus itself – perfection; the soundbite in the instrumental section – perfection; and the way the harmonies all swirl and come together before returning to the beginning for its end – it is in my mind easily one of the greatest songs ever written. It’s also completely heartbreaking. I’ve been lucky enough to see the band play it live a few times, now that they seem to realize what a gift it is.

Misheard Lyrics: Said he hurt it in a taxi/Seetee headed in a taxi

2: Mustafa had it in muesli

3: I’d go to pat a gnome, yeah

Actual Lyrics: Said he’d heard it in a taxi

2: Must have had him in my mercy

3: I’d go to Patagonia

The Story Behind The Song (I’m going to have to go back and update all my Manics posts with this, aren’t I?): A village in Wales (Capel Celyn) was completely flooded on command by the Government, to provide water for Liverpool (in England). Thanks to a sneaky bill via an Act Of Parliament, which overrode all Welsh legality and authority, the bill was passed and the village was flooded. All buildings, homes, and farms were destroyed, ignoring the hundreds of years of history and the pleas of the inhabitants. 

Ranking The Manics Songs – This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours

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I’ve always had a strange relationship with their fifth album. I think I appreciate the songs more than I enjoy them, beyond the ones I genuinely love. I love the craftsmanship and the ideas, but the lack of energy and the fact that most of the second half just feels like dirge after dirge creates an unfair view of the whole. Few of the songs are outright bad – they’re just not songs I choose to listen to repeatedly, not over the many many better songs they have. Here’s my list:

  1. Ready For Drowning
  2. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
  3. Tsunami
  4. The Everlasting
  5. Nobody Loved You
  6. You Stole The Sun From My Heart
  7. My Little Empire
  8. Black Dog On My Shoulder
  9. You’re Tender And You’re Tired
  10. Born A Girl
  11. Be Natural
  12. I’m Not Working
  13. SYMM

The bottom five songs – those I feel mostly ambivalent about and their ranking could change dependent on the weather. SYMM I’ve softened more on over the years, the other four I still like as standalones – when listening to the album as a whole though, it’s during that second half run where it drags. Like Everything Must Go – there aren’t a slew of great B-Sides to replace those with. Most of the B-Sides, while nice experiments, aren’t appealing to me. The band’s recent revisionist re-releases of their own albums has seen them replacing their own songs with B-Sides they preferred – TIMTTMY being one of the victims of this. Because of that, I’m going to nick a song from the previous album’s era and slap it in here. Here’s my take on what they album could have been:

  1. The Everlasting
  2. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
  3. You Stole The Sun From My Heart
  4. Ready For Drowning
  5. Tsunami
  6. My Little Empire
  7. Prologue To History
  8. Sepia
  9. Born A Girl
  10. You’re Tender And You’re Tired
  11. Black Dog On My Shoulder
  12. Montana/Autumn 78
  13. Nobody Loved You

There you have it, my take on another great album. What’s yours? Let us know in the comments!