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Lyrically Speaking: Low Anthem's 'Charlie Darwin'


The Low Anthem

With a new album, “Smart Flesh,” ready to hit the streets on Feb. 22, I figured it would be nice to give some kudos to Low Anthem’s surely most popular song from its 2009 album, “Oh My God Charlie Darwin.” It’s a song that despite how many times you hear it, it still sends chills down your spine.

  The Rhode Island band of Ben Knox Miller, Jeff Prystowsky and Jocie Adams provide some of the most beautiful high harmonies and ethereal moody instrumentation to back lyrics of a world in turmoil. Are they about the past or the present?: “And who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin/The lords of war just profit from decay/And trade their children’s promise for the jingle/The way we trade our hard earned time for pay.” Adams’ sparse bowing of her instrument called a crotales as well as a beautiful clarinet solo adds to ghostly atmosphere of the tune.

  We can’t wait to hear what the band has in store on the new album.


Charlie Darwin by Low Anthem Set the sails I feel the winds a’stirring Toward the bright horizon set the way Cast your wreckless dreams upon our Mayflower Haven from the world and her decay


And who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin Fighting for a system built to fail Spooning water from their broken vessels As far as I can see there is no land


Oh my god, the water’s all around us Oh my god, it’s all around


And who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin The lords of war just profit from decay And trade their children’s promise for the jingle The way we trade our hard earned time for pay


Oh my god, the water’s cold and shapeless Oh my god, it’s all around Oh my god, life is cold and formless Oh my god, it’s all around




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