Monday, August 3, 2009

Songs for Scenarios - Isis



Songs for Scenarios is hopefully an ongoing series of posts featuring a song & video pregnant with gaming possibilities. For my first entry, I present Bob Dylan's Isis, from his 1975 album Desire. Written with lyricist and stage director Jacques Levy, Isis tells the tale of an adventurer in search of a pyramid full of treasure. Give it a listen - Bob would have made one hell of an evil DM!

Isis

I married Isis on the fifth day of May,
But I could not hold on to her very long.
So I cut off my hair and I rode straight away
For the wild unknown country where I could not go wrong.

I came to a high place of darkness and light.
The dividing line ran through the center of town.
I hitched up my pony to a post on the rise,
Went in to a laundry to wash my clothes down.

A man in the corner approached me for a match.
I knew right away he was not ordinary.
He said, "Are you lookin' for somethin' easy to catch?"
I said, "I got no money." He said, "That ain't necessary."

We set out that night for the cold in the North.
I gave him my blanket, he gave me his word.
I said, "Where are we goin'?" He said we'd be back by the fourth.
I said, "That's the best news that I've ever heard."

I was thinkin' about turquoise, I was thinkin' about gold,
I was thinkin' about diamonds and the world's biggest necklace.
As we rode through the canyons, through the devilish cold,
I was thinkin' about Isis, how she thought I was so reckless.

How she told me that one day we would meet up again,
And things would be different the next time we wed,
If I only could hang on and just be her friend.
I still can't remember all the best things she said.

We came to the pyramids all embedded in ice.
He said, "There's a body I'm tryin' to find.
If I carry it out it'll bring a good price."
'Twas then that I knew what he had on his mind.

The wind it was howlin' and the snow was outrageous.
We chopped through the night and we chopped through the dawn.
When he died I was hopin' that it wasn't contagious,
But I made up my mind that I had to go on.

I broke into the tomb, but the casket was empty.
There was no jewels, no nothin', I felt I'd been had.
When I saw that my partner was just bein' friendly,
When I took up his offer I must-a been mad.

I picked up his body and I dragged him inside,
Threw him down in the hole and I put back the cover.
I said a quick prayer and I felt satisfied.
Then I rode back to find Isis just to tell her I love her.

She was there in the meadow where the creek used to rise.
Blinded by sleep and in need of a bed,
I came in from the East with the sun in my eyes.
I cursed her one time then I rode on ahead.

She said, "Where ya been?" I said, "No place special."
She said, "You look different." I said, "Well, I guess."
She said, "You been gone." I said, "That's only natural."
She said, "You gonna stay." I said, "If you want me to, yes."

Isis, oh, Isis, you mystical child.
What drives me to you is what drives me insane.
I still can remember the way that you smiled
On the fifth day of May in the drizzlin' rain.

4 comments:

SirAllen said...

The poem from Dead Flag Blues by Godspeed You Black Emperor reminds me of playing Gamma World:


The car is on fire, and there's no driver at the wheel
And the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
And a dark wind blows

The government is corrupt
And we're on so many drugs
With the radio on and the curtains drawn

We're trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
And the machine is bleeding to death

The sun has fallen down
And the billboards are all leering
And the flags are all dead at the top of their poles

It went like this:

The buildings tumbled in on themselves
Mothers clutching babies
Picked through the rubble
And pulled out their hair

The skyline was beautiful on fire
All twisted metal stretching upwards
Everything washed in a thin orange haze

I said, "Kiss me, you're beautiful -
These are truly the last days"

You grabbed my hand
And we fell into it
Like a daydream
Or a fever

We woke up one morning and fell a little further down
For sure it's the valley of death

I open up my wallet
And it's full of blood


Sure, it's post-rock hippie crap, but I love GYBE and this song is creepy like Gamma World should be.

philotomy said...

Holy shit, that live version of Isis blows the LP version away.

anarchist said...

Another D&D-like Bob Dylan song is 'Changing of the Guard'.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

So kind of like my thoughts on Song Fiction?