Thanksgiving Is Ruined
June 03, 2009
redemption in 2 minutes, 45 seconds
Deserved thanks unto YouTube user & popscholarly blogger GeoSilverMore, TiR says, for contribution to the internets, for the time being at least, of the under-three minutes of 60s pop heaven that is the Vogues' "Land of Milk and Honey" (1966).
The song appears approx. 7+1/4 minutes into a compilation video, here.
We seriously flipped out for a little while over this record in spring 2008.
As part of our engaged contemplation of its awesomeness, we of course gathered all the info about it that we could, as is our obsessive wont. We then filed away the research and did nothing with it, as also is our wont. The posting of the YouTube video, a month ago, gives us at last a flimsy excuse to sweep out our files a bit, by posting some links.
On the songwriters:
One of our first discoveries was that the record's songwriters, John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins, were the same team responsible for the immortal "Son of a Preacher Man." Then we realized that the same pair wrote "Love of the Common People."
On the production team:
Cool, but what gave the record that sound?
Not that any of the above necessarily explains the song's allure to us. On the one hand, for example, there are its great, great lyrics: a structured, three-act narrative that moves from abyssal isolation and nihilism to salvific, embodied contact and release, though the tug of the nihilism is much more vividly conveyed. Like "Son of Preacher Man," the concrete imagery is blended with enough generality (in this case, for e.g., the absence of gendered pronouns) to enable this listener at least to establish an immediate relationship with the story, through picturing it in the mind's eye while transposing it into their own experience. However, the drama here unfolds under a combat of moral forces that feels as if the outcome of the struggle carries almost Miltonian stakes. Yeah, sounds like teenage love.
On the other hand, is it not a kinda flawed song, by some criteria? No bridge, not even an instrumental solo or break; nothing really to vary or change it up musically, except a modulation skyward, before the last, redemptive verse. TiR nevertheless considers the record's main flaw, at the moment, to be that it ends too soon, or too abruptly.
["Why does the music have to end?" asked Warhol -- who would repeat-play the same 45rpm record compulsively while he worked -- in later inspiration of MMM's final locked groove.]
Unfortunately, none of the aforementioned sources clarify whether the Vogues' record was inspired by a similarly named, early 60s Broadway musical with Molly Picon -- -- as this Usenet post speculates.
Finally, our same worthy YouTube user's posting of Del Shannon's version of Boyce-Hart's "She" enables us to compare its virtues against that of the Suicide Commandos'.