"The Holy Drinker" as written by and Steven John Wilson....
The holy drinker and his curse
In constant serfage to unquenchable thirst
And from his stupor the night gives birth
The devil rises from right out of the earth

With shaking hands and blackened heart,
The glass he pours, this time it's also the last
In rapt communion with himself
The holy drinker is going straight into hell

His coffin was made from a tree
Please hammer a nail in for me
The bottle slipped right through
Plague pits now underground
Take me down... down...
Put me in chains...


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"The Holy Drinker" as written by Steven John Wilson

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  • +9
    General CommentIn Steven Wilson's own words:

    “This one is kind of tongue in cheek. It’s basically about a guy who’s very pious, very religious, preachy and self-righteous. I’m thinking of TV evangelist-types — guys who are prepared to tell people that they’re living their lives wrong and that they’re missing something because they don’t believe in God or whatever it is.

    “He’s also an alcoholic, by the way — the typical scenario. He’ll tell you that your life sucks and that you’re bad, that you have all these vices, and meanwhile he has plenty of his own.

    “One day, he’s in a bar and he challenges the stranger next to him to a drinking competition — without realizing that this person is the Devil. Of course, you can’t beat the Devil at a drinking competition — you can’t beat the Devil at anything — and so he loses. The great irony is that he’s vindicated, in a sense, but in the worst possible way. He gets dragged to Hell.

    “It’s kind of funny, but the music is quite dark. It starts off with a three-minute instrumental section before the vocal comes in, and that initial part is a pretty furious rush of energy. I believe I was thinking of Mahavishnu Orchestra when I wrote it.

    “A lovely Moog solo by Adam, kind of classic Jan Hammer-style, and lots of dirty keyboard sounds. I love the very end section, which is very evil sounding. People think it’s a guitar, but it’s a Fender Rhodes put through a distorted amp.

    “A lot of these songs have different motifs that crop up, and I like that. One of the hallmarks of bad progressive rock, if we can use that term — I’m fairly ambivalent about it — is that it’s simply a bunch of sections strung together that don’t really belong. This idea of giving gravity and weight by stringing bits together, that’s easy. I could get a bunch of ideas that are half-formed, put them all together into a 20-minute epic, and say, ‘Now I’m an artist.’

    “A lot of bad progressive rock, particularly modern, neo-progressive rock, sounds like that to me. It’s like they couldn’t write a decent song, so they just came up with a lot of half ideas and put them together to make them sound substantial. It doesn’t work with me. What I like to do is have these sections flower from the same musical source.”
    Elvenraadon February 28, 2013   Link

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