jueves, 6 de octubre de 2011

Songs inspired by poems or books (Part III)

Killing an Arab
The song "was a short poetic attempt at condensing my impression of the key moments in L'Étranger (The Stranger) by Albert Camus" according to Robert Smith (Cure Newsnumber 11, October 1991). The lyrics describe a shooting on a beach, in which the Arab of the title is killed by the song's narrator; in Camus' story the protagonist, Meursault, shoots an Arab on a beach. Overwhelmed by his surroundings, Meursault is then condemned for the honesty about his feelings. He is considered an outsider (or 'stranger') because "he refuses to lie" and "doesn't play the game". It was such a controversial song that in the US, The Cure's first compilation of singles, Standing on a Beach (1986), was packaged with a sticker advising against racist usage of the song. Smith and Elektra also requested that radio stations discontinue airing the song. It saw controversy again during the Persian Gulf War and following September 11th. "Killing an Arab" was the only single from the Three Imaginary Boys era not to be included on that album's 2004 remaster although it remains available on the album Boys Don't Cry and Standing on a Beach. In 2005, the lyrics were changed from "Killing an Arab" to "Killing Another".
Standing on the beach
With a gun in my hand
Staring at the sea
Staring at the sand
Staring down the barrel
At the arab on the ground
I can see his open mouth
But I hear no sound

I'm alive
I'm dead
I'm the stranger
Killing an arab

I can turn
And walk away
Or I can fire the gun
Staring at the sky
Staring at the sun
Whichever I chose
It amounts to the same
Absolutely nothing

I feel the steel butt jump
Smooth in my hand
Staring at the sea
Staring at the sand
Staring at myself
Reflected in the eyes
Of the dead man on the beach
The dead man on the beach

The stranger
The Stranger or The Outsider (L’Étranger) is a novel by Albert Camus published in 1942. Its theme and outlook are often cited as examples of existentialism, though Camus did not consider himself an existentialist; in fact, its content explores various philosophical schools of thought, including (most prominently and specifically) absurdism, as well as determinism, nihilism,naturalism, and stoicism.
The title character is Meursault, an Algerian ("a citizen of France domiciled in North Africa, a man of the Mediterranean, an homme du midi yet one who hardly partakes of the traditional Mediterranean culture") who seemingly irrationally kills an Arab man whom he recognises in French Algiers. The story is divided into two parts: Meursault's first-person narrative view before and after the murder, respectively.