Saturday, 26 January 2008

songbook: gay cowboy songs

Not many people know Rufus Wainwright wrote a song for Brokeback Mountain. Even fewer people know he actually wrote two. The first song I want to mention is the second one he wrote, The Maker Makes. It was actually used for Brokeback Mountain, but not in the movie as such. It's the second song to be played during the closing credits. Many people may never have heard it...

This is the official video, with Rufus performing it and of course it's gorgeous. But I can't embed it and I also like this version using clips from the movie:

The Maker Makes

One more chain I break, to get me closer to you
One more chain does the Maker make, to keep me from busting through

One more notch I scratch, to keep me thinking of you
One more notch does the Maker make, upon my face so blue

Get along little dogies
Get along little dogies

One more smile I fake, and try my best to be glad
One more smile does the Maker make, because he knows I’m sad

Oh Lord, how I know
Oh Lord, how I see
That only can the Maker make a happy man of me

Get along little dogies
Get along little dogies
Get along

Normally I would try to analyse the lyrics, but in this case I'm just going to tell you to read Annie Proulx' novella or watch Ang Lee's movie. I think both these songs capture the anguish of Brokeback Mountain.

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Shut Down the World

See one thousand eyes, forget the starry skies
Leaving you
Every sunny path, a bit of aftermath
Leaving you
So could you kindly shut the door?
It’s strange to think I needed it before

Then shut down the world
And stay within four walls
Please shut down the world
And stay within these four walls

Just one look at you, I’m finished wanting to
Challenge God
So I made my heart a home, of elements so strong
We’ll never feel the cold

And if God should come to call
I’ll leave the curtain strong
Won’t make the slightest sound
Till he’s out of town
And our secret tune remains
And we’re done failing death

Then shut down the world
And stay within four walls
Please shut down the world
And stay within these four walls
And stay within these four walls

Shut Down The World (often mislabelled "Leaving You") is the song Rufus wrote several years ago when Gus Van Sant, who was then planning on making a movie out of Brokeback Mountain, asked him to write a song for it. As you'll have noticed I uploaded a live recording of the first performance. Rufus says something like "And he better use it in his next fucking movie!" Unfortunately Van Sant's movie never happened.


Elizabeth said...

Thanks for sharing these. New Rufus is always a good thing.

sageweb said...

Thanks these are great finds. You have a ton of Rufus Knowledge.

SubtleKnife said...

You're welcome, I just love that guy.

Gawain said...

subtle knife, wow, i wish i had thought of that subriquet! and thanks for the link

SubtleKnife said...

You didn't do too badly yourself.

You ARE HT, aren't you? (If so, your link to the no-comments explanation needs to be fixed.)

I link blogs because I enjoy reading them, so thank you.

GB said...

Very interesting comment that you left on my recent post, SutbleKnife :-). Perhaps you can advise? If I just say 'partner' instead of 'boyfriend', do you think covers it, or do you think any other changes or additions are necessary?

GB xxx

Cody said...

In reference to lyrics of first song, refrain should read "dogies", not "doggies", the former referring to motherless calves in a range herd, the latter applying to canines. Long "o" in dogie.

SubtleKnife said...

Thanks for that! I will edit it immediately.

I didn't transcribe these myself and although I have edited them somewhat, I'm not all that familiar with cowboy jargon. (There are precious few cowboys in these here parts...)

Rachael said...