The Bed Song – Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra

Heartbreak is stunningly all the more bitter when recounted from beyond the grave. This cold case of an affair gone wrong employs the conceit that the quality of the bed equates as apposite to the depth of the passion.

A mournful piano refrain echoes out as the story unfolds.

Palmer plays the defence. ‘Exhibit A. We are friends in a sleeping bag, splitting the heat we have one filthy pillow to share, your lips are in my hair’. So far so sexy bedsit bohemians getting it all over the shop.

However, from such physical beginnings a life of diminishing returns soon sets in.

By Exhibit C the rush comes from the arrival of the new mattress and not the development of the relationship.

‘And I stood there wondering, what is the matter? Is this a matter of worse or of better? You walked right past me and straightened the covers’

Over the whole arc of this once beautiful (or at least physical) relationship devolving, that piano becomes more and more haunting.

When we finally arrive at a time where Amanda’s case is rested the protagonists have chosen their own demises, ‘you take the heart failure, I’ll take the cancer’. They’ve been buried in the cold cold ground and are doomed to an afterlife of isolation laid side by side. Strings have joined the piano.

A more mournful weeping song of such potency is harder to find.

It is haunting. Fucking haunting.

Sometimes this song comes to me in the middle of the night. And I wake my wife up trying to steal a hug.


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