Veteran of the Psychic Wars

by Screedler on June 16, 2011

Start the video up and read on…it’s time to venture into lyricos addicto obscura (sounds latin, but yeah, I just made it up).  Blue Oyster Cult is one of my favorite bands.  They blend three of my favorite genres – rock, scifi, and fantasy like no other (with a nod to Led Zeppelin and Rush).  With songs like Godzilla, Don’t Fear The Reaper, and Heavy Metal their music has always been influenced by the fantastical.  But their scifi masterpiece, in my opinion, was this song from the album “Fire of Unknown Origin” which also doubles in my opinion as a great song about addiction.

It was co-written by scifi/fantasy legend Michael Moorcock, who said it was about the emotional scars of a military veteran.  No stranger to this territory, Moorcock had previously written a song for BOC specifically about addiction; “The Great Sun Jester“, about his friend, the poet and famous bookstore owner Bill Butler, who died of a drug overdose.  I bought this album my freshman year in college at Auburn, which was probably the first year I drank enough to actually give me the shakes.  Every time I hear this song it reminds me of those horrible sensations, one’s I know every suffering alcohlic has had.  I still like the song, but it takes on new meaning now.  Back then I listened and said the foxhole prayers of “I’ll never drink again God”, if you just let me get over this hangover from hell.  Now I listen and think, am I finally a veteran of the psychic wars – and thank God that I don’t have the shakes anymore.

You see me now a veteran of a thousand psychic wars
I’ve been living on the edge so long, where the winds of limbo roar
And I’m young enough to look at, and far too old to see
All the scars are on the inside
I’m not sure that there’s anything left of me

Don’t let these shakes go on, it’s time we had a break from it
It’s time we had some leave
We’ve been living in the flames
We’ve been eating up our brains
Oh please, don’t let these shakes go on.

You ask me why I’m weary, why I can’t speak to you
You blame me for my silence, say it’s time I changed and grew
But the war’s still going on, dear, and there’s no end that I know
And I can’t stand forever
I can’t say if we’re ever gonna be free

Don’t let these shakes go on, it’s time we had a break from it
It’s time we had some leave
We’ve been living in the flames
We’ve been eating up our brains
Oh please, don’t let these shakes go on.

You see me now a veteran of a thousand psychic wars
My energy is spent at last, and my armor is destroyed
I have used up all my weapons, and I’m helpless and bereaved
Wounds are all I’m made of
Did I hear you say that this is victory?

Don’t let these shakes go on, it’s time we had a break from it
Send me to the rear
Where the tides of madness swell
And men sliding into hell
Oh please, don’t let these shakes go on.

BOC factoid – The bands name was originally “Soft White Underbelly, The name “Blue Öyster Cult” came from a 1960s poem written by manager Sandy Pearlman. It was part of his “Imaginos” poetry, later used more extensively in their 1988 album Imaginos. The “Blue Oyster Cult” was a group of aliens who had assembled to secretly guide Earth’s history. “Initially, the band was not happy with the name, but settled for it, and went to work preparing to record their first release…”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Screedler July 26, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Good Eye …

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2 Kimo Sabe July 26, 2011 at 2:37 pm

the “nowhen” in the text should be “no end”

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3 Screedler June 17, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Thanks for that! I got a fever!….never gets old.

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4 Zentient June 17, 2011 at 7:43 am

Blue Oyster Cult – here’s the first thing that comes to my mind – more cowbell!

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/80a71ef8cb/more-cowbell

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