Daily Archives: December 14, 2014

The Hollow Men, QI, a 90’s rock band and Franz Schubert – a strange journey into my mind.

I have always liked poems and songs working together.

I think a lot of song lyrics are the most beautiful prose and  lot of poems could be made more powerful with music, but what I’m really talking about here is when someone uses a line or two from a poem or play in their music, either to preface it, as a quote or to sum it up.

I was reminded of this the other day when I was listening to a TV program and the host said, “not with a boom but a whimper…” I thought – where’s that from? – It definitely rings a bell, so I hit google.

I quickly found the quote, ‘not with a bang but a whimper’ from T.S. Elliot’s The Hollow Men – a great poem, but not one I had been familiar with. When I got to the last verse it read…

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

There was that bell again, but this time it was the repetition of This is the way the world ends. Where did I know it from. A bit more searching and I found my answer.

There was a band in the 90’s called EMF. They released an album in 1991 called Schubert Dip, which included a track called Longtime. I was a fan at the time, but I probably hadn’t listened to this particular track for over 20 years. Yet here, sparked by a misquote of a poem, I had been drawn back to EMF who had themselves misquoted the poem at the start of one of their tracks. Their quote went

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a band…

Here is the song itself in case you’re interested…

Have a wonderful day, with your wonderful brain, making connections, remembering long forgotten things and generally following your thoughts 🙂

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