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Vienna Teng — Passage
Album: Warm Strangers
Avg rating:
6.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1085









Released: 2004
Length: 4:05
Plays (last 30 days): 0
I died in a car crash two days ago
Was unrecognizable
When they pulled me from the gears
No one's fault, no one's bottle
No one's teenage pride or throttle
Our innocence is all the worse for fears
The other walked away alive
Arms wrapped now around his wife

My lover sits, the silent eye
In a hurricane of warmth and word
My mother trembles with the sobs
Whose absence seems absurd
My sister shouts to let her see
Through the cloud of crowd surrounding me
My colleagues call for silence in my name

I died in a car crash three months ago
They burned me 'til I glowed
And crumbled to a fine gray sand
Now I am nothing, everywhere
Several breaths of strangers' air
And all thoughts ever written in my hand
They plant my tree out in the yard
It grows but takes the winter hard

My lover puts a knife to wrist
Says tomorrow comes, hold on a while
My mother tosses in the sheets
And dreams me holding my own child
My sister plays our homemade tapes
Laughs as tears stream down her face
My office door now bears a different name

I died in a car crash four years ago
My tree drinks melted snow
Just eight feet tall a pale and fragile thing
Bee stings, beaches, bright vacations
Sunburnt high-school graduations
A sparrow healing from a broken wing
This year a glimpse of second chances
Tiny apples on my tree's branches

My lover hears the open wind
And crawls blinking into the sun
My mother leafs through photographs
And thinks, "Yes, she was a lovely one."
My sister can't decide her truth
Asks aloud what I might do
In a conference hall my brief efforts engraved

I died in a car crash
A lifetime ago it seems
Been a decade or two or three
They've just released a new design
Bars and bags front and behind
My fate now an impossibility
Safely packaged hurtling down
The highway hardly make a sound

My lover very much alive
Arms wrapped now around his wife
Comments (289)add comment
 missionaire wrote:
This is deeply unsettling, and all the more impressive because of it. If this song makes you uncomfortable it's doing it's job.
 

The haunting and beautiful counterpoint to BNL's "Tonight Is The Night I Fell Asleep At The Wheel", which I love as well
thoughtful lyrics...makes one wonder what the dead would really say..the grave is oh so silent
Nobody was really sure if he was from the house of lords
Beautiful song (8), but where does this high frequency hiss come from?
This is deeply unsettling, and all the more impressive because of it. If this song makes you uncomfortable it's doing it's job.
Chilling and captivating by turns. One of my few 10s.
I absolutely LOVE Vienna Teng, but I find myself looking for the P(T)SD button...
Interesting! 
Interesting range of comments.  For my part, utterly captivating.  This is why I listen to RP. Thanks Bill.
This song creeps me out and captivated me in almost equal measure. In almost 17 years of listening to this station, on a daily basis, it’s the only song I have no idea how to rate!?!
It's ok to play this once a year, maybe November? Doesn't need to be in rotation though.
What a horrible way to break a groove.
Wonderful. I thank RP for surprising me, every now and then, with songs like this one. The Song Comments remind me a bit of the HBO series "The Leftovers"; it seems that RP folks have vastly different views of mortality!
Hit PSD because I couldn't take the lyrics. Got King Crimson - Epitaph instead. Woho, scary!
 staygood wrote:
Oy, indeed.  Very powerful & very unsettling.  It's beautiful, but I still want to PSD.

 
I did PSD, I have to be in a good mood to be able to listen to it... otherwise it shatters me
Moody, but what a great voice. It kept me listening. Thanks for the find.
Oy, indeed.  Very powerful & very unsettling.  It's beautiful, but I still want to PSD.
I think it's the best thing she's done. Most of her other stuff sounds like a screechy Norah Jones. 
Oy.
This is rock bottom sucko barfo.  Play something else.
 daniel_rusk wrote:
Sucks! No one needs shit like this. 

 
Do you speak for everyone or no one?
This is SOOOOOO ANNOYING
She is so amazing!
 wibadger wrote:
jhorton wrote:
This is just a beautiful thing. Shallow minds need not apply.
I agree completely. So, since my shallow mind cannot take it, I changed the station. This is the THE ONLY SONG played on RP that causes this reaction.

 
Nine years later it's still in the rotation, but at least the Skip feature was added.
beautiful but at the same time the most depressing song I ever heard....
Wow!
One of the most powerful songs I've ever heard.  Very moving.
SO POWERFUL!
 On_The_Beach wrote:

Thank you for those deep and insightful musings.
Probably best to rest your brain now.

 
NICE!!!!
 daniel_rusk wrote:
Sucks! No one needs shit like this.
 
Thank you for those deep and insightful musings.
Probably best to rest your brain now.
Sucks! No one needs shit like this. 
  MrsTom wrote:
There is either a hiss or she is recording this in the rain 

 DragonslayerJS wrote:

For Warm Strangers, Vienna traveled to Nashville to record again with David Henry. Financial constraints forced Vienna and her recording team to be creative. On the a cappella "Passage," they couldn't decide whether to use weird sound effects or chopped-up field recordings. In the end, they went to a tunnel underneath a Nashville bridge and let the tape run.

"We padded down there in our flip-flops and recorded with all this natural ambient reverb, and it was perfect for what we were looking for," she says. The bridge is credited in the liner notes.

Metroactive Music, Vienna Calling, May 26,2004



 

Oooohh!  Cool info, thank you DragonslayerJS  


{#No}   nope.  can't handle this one ... 
 DaidyBoy wrote:
Astonishing  ↑ 10

 
Yes. Same here. 
Beautiful. In every way.

How someone can come up with this is truly beyond me. 
She sang this at One Longfellow Square, Portland, ME a year ago, and I bawled my eyes out.

What a lyrical and creative song. A capella too. I've always thought that harder to work with. I downloaded  some Vienna Teng. Good to walk the dog with, discordant to exercise by. I like her, and now I want to pay closer attention, explore the layers.
I think the only way the lyrics could move me it to mockery.
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus send a message to one of his students last night. I can hope I got her attention.
huh.. her voice drew my attention, then read the lyrics - what a powerful and beautiful poem. Very haunting though..

I concur on the previous comments that this is not a work-soundtrack  {#Think}
 mgkiwi wrote:
Was she driving with Morrissey!

 
LOL,...
the cars in background kinda kill the mood
but the tunnel recording was a good idea though 
YOWZER!!!  Got Good Times, Bad Times on PSD>>.  It's a great day, Bill!
Was she driving with Morrissey!
 MrsTom wrote:
There is either a hiss or she is recording this in the rain 

 

For Warm Strangers, Vienna traveled to Nashville to record again with David Henry. Financial constraints forced Vienna and her recording team to be creative. On the a cappella "Passage," they couldn't decide whether to use weird sound effects or chopped-up field recordings. In the end, they went to a tunnel underneath a Nashville bridge and let the tape run.

"We padded down there in our flip-flops and recorded with all this natural ambient reverb, and it was perfect for what we were looking for," she says. The bridge is credited in the liner notes.

Metroactive Music, Vienna Calling, May 26,2004


 Chumbawamba-1984 wrote:
Nice vocal performance a capella on nice lyrics. Maybe a little too much hall effect to my taste. 

 
I couldn't've said it better myself.
I think I hear the sound of distant, outside traffic at certain points, especially within the last 30 seconds.
I wonder if she recorded this in an abandoned inner-city building. 
Would like to hear this back to back with BNL's "Tonight is the Night I Fell Asleep At The Wheel". Would be an interesting musical juxtaposition, similar theme but totally different approach. 
There is either a hiss or she is recording this in the rain 
Music to be clinically depressed by
Nice vocal performance a capella on nice lyrics. Maybe a little too much hall effect to my taste. 
I would love to hear June Tabor in her prime sing this song.
It's a very beautiful, sentimental, a capella song.  It has more than enough melancholy to split open heaven and flood my hometown in a deluge one mile deep. It made me stop, and take notice.  Thank you for playing it, RP. 
Amazing song but an oddly matter-of-fact presentation. Maybe that's by design but would like to hear someone else interpret it.
So upbeat, gee a little gin and some razor blades is all I need.
 fredriley wrote:
This is a painful listen, enough to bring tears to the eyes. 9 from the brimming Nottingham jury.

 
Beautiful, but yes...
Ugh!
{#Cry}

How damn touching...first confusing, then straight through the heart...
Sooo annoying.... should have know it was her.....

 
 Jeff-in-TO wrote:
This is a really good poem.  Not what I want to hear while I'm working.  It's more of a late evening, sitting down with a scotch, deep thinking moment kind of poem.

 
I concur.
And I am at work now... 
Voice. Voice. Voice. It's elegant, it shimmers and elevates even such sad material. 
Astonishing  ↑ 10
 EdEastridge wrote:
Wow… amazingly, beautifully haunting. Thank you.
 
What Ed said.  Although I especially enjoyed the last line.
 Easyrider wrote:
Somebody speak to this woman and cheer her up.Down right depressing,awful.
 

What? You think life has to be all sparkles and happy clappy cheeriness? Nasty shit happens, and people write songs about all aspects of the human experience. How can you be so shallow?
10 for this wonderful voice
This is a really good poem.  Not what I want to hear while I'm working.  It's more of a late evening, sitting down with a scotch, deep thinking moment kind of poem.
One of those songs where I  can acknowledge the talent behind it, but also realize that it is just not my cup of tea.
Wow… amazingly, beautifully haunting. Thank you.
 ScottN wrote:
Got here by PSD. Thank you for that BG.
This song is marvelous.

 
It can happen, thankful for its absence!
 ScottN wrote:
Got here by PSD. Thank you for that BG.
This song is marvelous.

 
Leaving here by PSD.  This song is a bummer.  Not what I want to hear early Friday morning.
Got here by PSD. Thank you for that BG.
This song is marvelous.
....
...
..
.
No words to describe...
This is a painful listen, enough to bring tears to the eyes. 9 from the brimming Nottingham jury.
Very haunting and moving. It requires actual listening and feeling, apparently a problem for some...
Somebody speak to this woman and cheer her up.Down right depressing,awful.
A beautiful and moving poem about the far-reaching consequences of a single accidental death.
 rubincw wrote:
boring
 
A poem, a song, time heals everything but death...She sings of how, as time moves along, people get used to those that died being gone. That it becomes normal after a time...I can't recall ever hearing a song that was this existential.

Yeah, that was boring, but only if you are not listening. 
 Loonytunas wrote:
Please stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
Loonytunas wrote:
does it ever stop.............this is the first time I've turn off radio paradise in a long time

depressing{#Wall}

 
rubincw wrote:
boring
 

 
 
Except that some of us thought it was beautiful, moving. Have you seen the PSD button? I for one am glad Bill plays this.
Please stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
Loonytunas wrote:
does it ever stop.............this is the first time I've turn off radio paradise in a long time

depressing{#Wall}

 
rubincw wrote:
boring
 

 


 kyuzo wrote:
I was stunned!
 
me, too...stopped what I was doing and just let it flow over me. How insightful, how sad, how well sung, how deeply touching. 
some throw dog shit against a wall and call themselves artist{#Devil_pimp}
 oooresultooo wrote:
its sooo annoying....crickets in the background....singing here and there......blah blah blah...not music!
 
Or maybe it made it eerie and atmospheric. You can't have been listening to those lyrics. I found it incredibly moving.
 
does it ever stop.............this is the first time I've turn off radio paradise in a long time

depressing{#Wall}

 
rubincw wrote:
boring
 

freakin horrible please never play again god dammit !!!!!
its sooo annoying....crickets in the background....singing here and there......blah blah blah...not music!
Beautiful in its own right, but certainly not making this Monday any brighter or easier.
boring
keep it together man! gulp.
The girl as instrument= Pure awesomeness.
I was stunned!
Vraiment superbe !!!! really {#Clap}
When Bill announced this song and suggested it was worth a thoughtful listen, I plugged in the headphones and took him at his word. Wow. He was right. Powerful, haunting and beautiful.  The follow-up with Moonlight Sonata was masterful.

There's a chillingly beautiful song in there somewhere. This just isn't it.
Lots of folks who comment are having a difficult time with their own mortality.  You too will die.
Enjoy the time that you have. 
Trying to make me jump out my window (I'm on the first floor, but the drama of it would still be seen).  :( - Into Moonlight Sonata :(....
Wow.
Very Powerful,  Thanks Bill! 
Highly distracting when at work. I'll have to remove my earplugs for a while next time.
Train wreck. But I am compelled to listen. Like it or not, you have to give some kudos to an expression of art that makes you pause. 
I don't feel like hearing this first thing in the morning. Maybe not any other time, either.
Damn...this song never fails to make me hesitate and reflect on modern life.  And I think of some friends who always seem to be running away from her reflections.  Now I read some of the comments here, and wonder the same thing: How "good" are we with our silly existence here?


What a hauntingly sweet voice.
It would be easier to quit smoking than listen to this song! {#Lol}
First time I've heard this, and it feels .... interesting.  For some reason, it puts me in mind of Baz Luhrmann, no real idea why....   Not sure how many times I could hear a song like this before I started finding it boring , but first impressions are 8 Most Excellent.
It's very boring!
Not so good...it was interfering with my coding mojo something fierce.  Causing parity errors between my brain and fingers.

Good for the "Atonal/Arythmic Poetry Hour" though....
It's not deep, but it's getting thick. 
I logged on to rate this a 1... only to realize I had already done so.

Can I rate it a 0?
I cannot detect the beat
and I would rarely say this about RP but - WHAT?
tiny apples on my trees branches?
{#Cowboy}
I'm surprised at some of the low ratings for this one...loving it!
I think this is actually the weakest of the songs on this record.
too literal.

artless.

no poetry here.

give me Neko Case, anyday.

Always makes me shiver.
This is the most beautiful thing I have heard all day.
jhorton wrote:
This is just a beautiful thing. Shallow minds need not apply.
I agree completely. So, since my shallow mind cannot take it, I changed the station. This is the THE ONLY SONG played on RP that causes this reaction.
Good grief... every time I hear a Vienna Teng song on RP I get all emotional. She really pushes my buttons.
That's beautiful, but I always press next track, when this arrives on my CD... :rolleyes:
YYYYYYYyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnn. Sad follow up to On Tree Hill. Oh well, that goodness for the volume knob....
Shesdifferent wrote:
This album is most excellent, unfortunately I had to edit this song out for a friend who's 25 year old daughter really did die in a car crash, man that was a close call when I turned her on to this....chilling but beautifully sad song.
Wow. Yeah, you did the right thing. This song does ME in: I can't imagine what it would do in that case. Stunning song. Takes real ability to sing it without accompaniment too. c.
:meditate: jhorton wrote:
This is just a beautiful thing. Shallow minds need not apply.
they should play this song in drivers ed.
what a stupid song
Well, that one will keep me off I-95 for a while.