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Vienna Teng — In Another Life
Album: Inland Territory
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 825









Released: 2009
Length: 3:28
Plays (last 30 days): 1
In another life
You and I
worked West Virginia coal mines
Side by side
Collecting the black dust like sin
The day the main shaft caved in
I caught your eye
As the lantern light guttered out
And the afterdamp
swallowed us slowly
I gripped your hand
And caught a glance
Of the next time 'round

In another life
You and I
were Red Guards in training
Side by side
We marched on Tiananmen
Turned our own parents in
For hoarding rice
And in the Great Leap forward
We crawled on our bellies and died
And a blood orange sky
Gave a cry
Of next time 'round

In another life
I was married at thirteen
You were killed at twenty-one
On a minor battlefield
I was buried beside
my second stillborn child
My last thought it seemed
A fever dream

Now we sink into a summer afternoon
Central Park in June
Marveling at the bounty
our days contain
And we feel it like the shiver
Of a passing train

That other life
Deep underground
You and I
Side by side
We are the next time 'round
Comments (96)add comment
Slight echoes of Regina Spektor.  Good song.
WOW! The woodwinds and the melancholy of the lyrics hit me right in the soul! A perfect 10 to me. 
Wow, for a second I thought this was Kirsty Maccoll throwing down some Klezmer
 ScottN wrote:
I very much like VT.  In this song the lyrics don't seem to fit the "semi-klezmer treatment" she gives this song.
 
Perhaps it's because the lyrics are so deep and troubling.  For those that don't listen to lyrics (and there are a LOT of people who don't) the light, semi-klezmer treatment makes the song OK.
Ivor the engine ?
I very much like VT.  In this song the lyrics don't seem to fit the "semi-klezmer treatment" she gives this song.
I dunno.  I love Blue Caravan, but this seems more essay than song.
My favourite Vienna's CD. Last album is an mistake imo.
 Rhinofin wrote:
 This song just stopped me in my tracks.  I couldn't help but listen intently.

 
Same thing here - my first listen. The jury is still out, but it definitely got my attention. Production/arrangement reminds me Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine.

If I didn't hate musicals, I might say it sounds like something from a musical. But in a good way. How refreshing to be able to understand lyrics. Yeah, I'm getting old.
Saw her in Austin last week, what a great show! Pity she didn't play this one but I may have completely lost it if she did.
 This song just stopped me in my tracks.  I couldn't help but listen intently.
My mother was a Chinese trapeze artist in pre-War Paris, smuggling bombs for the underground...
 ufamsm wrote:
The first time I heard this song, it hit me like a b*tchslap when I caught the lyrics. Instantly popped to iTunes and downloaded everything she has released. All of my friends are huge fans.

"I was married at 13 / You were killed at 21 / On a minor battlefield"

That other life, deep underground...  
 

I did exactly the same thing when I heard her "Blue Caravan".  I downloaded everything I could...
The first time I heard this song, it hit me like a b*tchslap when I caught the lyrics. Instantly popped to iTunes and downloaded everything she has released. All of my friends are huge fans.

"I was married at 13 / You were killed at 21 / On a minor battlefield"

That other life, deep underground...  
Love the bassoon.
Very nice.
nigelr wrote:
Sugar plum faeries, anyone?

Exactly!

Very lame song. 
Love this song — and she performs it well at live shows
 bjrubble wrote:
The line about "marveling at the bounty our days contain" always makes me push back from my desk, look around at my air conditioned office and the work that I generally enjoy, and consider my good health and comfortable life and astoundingly small chance of being brutally oppressed or consigned to die, and really appreciate how fortunate is my lot next to what passed for normal through most of human history.

I think the world could use more music that has this effect.
 
I can't recall how many times I've had the same thought. Love this one, BTW.


The line about "marveling at the bounty our days contain" always makes me push back from my desk, look around at my air conditioned office and the work that I generally enjoy, and consider my good health and comfortable life and astoundingly small chance of being brutally oppressed or consigned to die, and really appreciate how fortunate is my lot next to what passed for normal through most of human history.

I think the world could use more music that has this effect.

Had to interrupt my work and to find out, who is behind the awesome voice. {#Daisy}

Lovely song.


Listening with my sound turned low, I thought for a minute this was Regina Spektor.
DarceySuzanne wrote:
If there weren't so many cute-girlie-tiny-petite-speaksingy-soft-whispery-precious-baby women singer-songwriters out there nowadays...
Stop! I can't stand this teasing. Seriously, this is a cool dadist little song. Nice to have it in the rotation.

6 -> 1
overplayed sad shit.
 ziggytrix wrote:


If there weren't so many X out there nowadays, I might not be so sick of this sound.
Where X = anything that's not completely unique.

Wow, I just discounted everything. :(
 
couldn't agree more...(he said with just enough sarcasm)


I like some of her stuff, but not this number.
Whoa... and I thought the Decemberists sang about depressing stuff.  "I was killed on a minor battlefield and buried next to a still-born child."
 DarceySuzanne wrote:
If there weren't so many cute-girlie-tiny-petite-speaksingy-soft-whispery-precious-baby women singer-songwriters out there nowadays, I might not be so sick of this sound.
 

If there weren't so many X out there nowadays, I might not be so sick of this sound.
Where X = anything that's not completely unique.

Wow, I just discounted everything. :(
 ScottN wrote:

Oboe too, and this from a very accomplished pianist.  Nice song on my first listen.
 
I must agree the arrangement here really sets this song apart.

 DarceySuzanne wrote:
If there weren't so many cute-girlie-tiny-petite-speaksingy-soft-whispery-precious-baby women singer-songwriters out there nowadays, I might not be so sick of this sound.
 
Nicely stated, yes.
 WonderLizard wrote:
What an astonishing arrangement! That punctuating bassoon is amazing—as is everything else. Wow.
 
Oboe too, and this from a very accomplished pianist.  Nice song on my first listen.

What an astonishing arrangement! That punctuating bassoon is amazing—as is everything else. Wow.
The Ghost of Kurt Weill?

      Mack the Knife!

Ooops! I forgot to comment the first time I heard this song, but at least it was verified and validated that, yep, still hate it!{#Lol}
RP Classic :-)
Irving Cohen

Give me a bouncy C!
Sugar plum faeries, anyone?
 DarceySuzanne wrote:
If there weren't so many cute-girlie-tiny-petite-speaksingy-soft-whispery-precious-baby women singer-songwriters out there nowadays, I might not be so sick of this sound.
 
bwahahaha too true, although i find Vienna's more interesting than most. sadly Bill follows with the embodiment of your description, Imogen Heap.
 DarceySuzanne wrote:
If there weren't so many cute-girlie-tiny-petite-speaksingy-soft-whispery-precious-baby women singer-songwriters out there nowadays, I might not be so sick of this sound.
 
...some issues, I note

haha! very funny.  although i do like this song.

 
DarceySuzanne wrote:
If there weren't so many cute-girlie-tiny-petite-speaksingy-soft-whispery-precious-baby women singer-songwriters out there nowadays, I might not be so sick of this sound.
 


If there weren't so many cute-girlie-tiny-petite-speaksingy-soft-whispery-precious-baby women singer-songwriters out there nowadays, I might not be so sick of this sound.
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
The last time an oboe fit well into a rock tune was "Since I Don't Have You" by the Skyliners (thanks to a young and unknown Phil Spector).

Unfortunately, they just sound out of place here.
 

Bit too submissive sounding for me.
 Jack_Jefferson wrote:
It feels like I'm missing something.  This song sounds like it belongs in a musical where the protagonist has a contemplative moment.
 
Or a contemplative movement, maybe


 ProgFusion wrote:
Oboe, clarinet, and piano?? I like it!!!
 
Totally! ;)
In the first few seconds of this song, I keep expecting it to be the Dance of the Sugar Plum Faires.
 sonofpick wrote:

 
LOL, so does this mean you like it or not?


The last time an oboe fit well into a rock tune was "Since I Don't Have You" by the Skyliners (thanks to a young and unknown Phil Spector).

Unfortunately, they just sound out of place here.

The instrumentals overpower her soft voice. They are too loud.


It feels like I'm missing something.  This song sounds like it belongs in a musical where the protagonist has a contemplative moment.
 ProgFusion wrote:


So, are you saying that musicians are only allowed to write songs about things they've experienced personally?

The Beatles really went on a Yellow Submarine, and rode Across The Universe?

David Bowie really went into orbit with Major Tom?

The Crash Test Dummies really attended Superman's funeral?

Right Said Fred really is Too Sexy?

Britney Spears really Did It Again? Well, alright, I'll give you that one.

A-ha's lead singer really took a girl into a newspaper comic strip?

You seem to want rather narrow musical boundaries.

Paul McCartney wrote a song for you. It's called "Silly Love Songs." {#Tongue-out}
 

WIN
Something wicked this way comes. Thank Godsa {#Umbrella}
 OCDHG wrote:

No.  Absolutely, that is almost just exactly unlike what I am saying.

Al Stewart was a soldier in WWII (Roads to Moscow), Gillian Welch was an Orphan Girl, Johnny Cash was a Boy Named Sue... etc. ad nauseum.

What I AM saying is if you're going to do it, at least convince me.  Vienna fails.  Miserably. 

Is it the contrived nature of her sickly sweet voice?  The cutesy delivery?  The god-awful peppiness of that damn bassoon?  I don't know. I just know that it's almost painful to listen to.  It actually makes me cringe.

My musical boundries are a anything but narrow.  Though I do draw the line at smooth jazz.  And anything else that seems insincere.  Like Vienna Teng.
 

Have you ever heard of the funny little word called "metaphor"?
 ProgFusion wrote:


So, are you saying that musicians are only allowed to write songs about things they've experienced personally?

The Beatles really went on a Yellow Submarine, and rode Across The Universe?

David Bowie really went into orbit with Major Tom?

The Crash Test Dummies really attended Superman's funeral?

Right Said Fred really is Too Sexy?

Britney Spears really Did It Again? Well, alright, I'll give you that one.

A-ha's lead singer really took a girl into a newspaper comic strip?

You seem to want rather narrow musical boundaries.

Paul McCartney wrote a song for you. It's called "Silly Love Songs." {#Tongue-out}

 
No.  Absolutely, that is almost just exactly unlike what I am saying.

Al Stewart was a soldier in WWII (Roads to Moscow), Gillian Welch was an Orphan Girl, Johnny Cash was a Boy Named Sue... etc. ad nauseum.

What I AM saying is if you're going to do it, at least convince me.  Vienna fails.  Miserably. 

Is it the contrived nature of her sickly sweet voice?  The cutesy delivery?  The god-awful peppiness of that damn bassoon?  I don't know. I just know that it's almost painful to listen to.  It actually makes me cringe.

My musical boundries are a anything but narrow.  Though I do draw the line at smooth jazz.  And anything else that seems insincere.  Like Vienna Teng.


 mcj2a wrote:
There isn't enough bassoon in pop music these days.
 
I agree totally, but this is an awfully dull bassoon part.  I'd hate to get stuck playing that.  I'll take one of the clarinet parts.


OCDHG wrote:
Oh good lord.

Vienna Teng thinks she was a coal miner from WV in a former life. What freaking joke.

I guess this example is just as contrived as her music, so I suppose it "fits."



So, are you saying that musicians are only allowed to write songs about things they've experienced personally?

The Beatles really went on a Yellow Submarine, and rode Across The Universe?

David Bowie really went into orbit with Major Tom?

The Crash Test Dummies really attended Superman's funeral?

Right Said Fred really is Too Sexy?

Britney Spears really Did It Again? Well, alright, I'll give you that one.

A-ha's lead singer really took a girl into a newspaper comic strip?

You seem to want rather narrow musical boundaries.

Paul McCartney wrote a song for you. It's called "Silly Love Songs." {#Tongue-out}

 btilrn wrote:
{#Meditate} 
Nice Sunday AM vibe
 
                               
mario mushroom

Oh good lord.

Vienna Teng thinks she was a coal miner from WV in a former life.  What freaking joke. 

I guess this example is just as contrived as her music, so I suppose it "fits."

 MsJudi wrote:
Utterly bizarre... and yet lovely as only Vienna can be.
 
she IS a delight. this isn't normally my cup of tea but she makes it worth my listen ... a delish dish.

Utterly bizarre... and yet lovely as only Vienna can be.
 pinklife wrote:
For a second I thought this was the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.  {#Cry}

 

Actually, more like Swan Lake {#Cheesygrin}
 mcj2a wrote:
There isn't enough bassoon in pop music these days.
 

Now there's a sentence you don't see every day! But I agree.
There isn't enough bassoon in pop music these days.
Ha! Good ol' Vienna again! I'm sure that this has been played every day for the last couple of weeks! (Someone will be along shortly to tell me I'm wrong.)

However (unlike most times that this comment is made about songs) I'm not complaining: it's a brilliant song.

:D  ...Not quite Tchaikovsky...but I do like this.



This really is cool...


 pinklife wrote:
For a second I thought this was the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.  {#Cry}

 




Please take one full step back from the mic.
Excellent lyrics — good poetry, and striking imagery...

In another life
You and I were Red
Guards in training
Side by side
We marched on Tiananmen
Turned our own parents in
For hoarding rice
And in the Great Leap forward
We crawled on our bellies and died
A blood orange sky
Gave a cry
Of next time 'round...

See the rest of the lyrics here.

Nice song. Loaded with memorable instrumental hooks. Love her voice.

For a second I thought this was the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.  {#Cry}

Blech
For a brief moment there I thought 'what the hell is KT Tunstall doing singing with Vienna Teng?'....

Nice anyway, in small doses.
I'm thinking I like this record much better than her last one, which kind of bored me after awhile.  Much more interesting songs on this one. Love the oboe and piano. Yet another CD I need to purchase. 
Ah yes, we embrace whimsy!!

 
ProgFusion wrote:
Oboe, clarinet, and piano?? I like it!!!
 


Oboe, clarinet, and piano?? I like it!!!
{#Beat}{#Frustrated}{#Grumpy}{#Puke}{#Crashcomp}{#Headache}{#Rolleyes}
I like Vienna Teng, but this is getting old fast.
I am loving that bassoon.
I never say to much of this or that on RP. This is a first: I think maybe too much Vienna Teng.
Vienna put on an interesting concert this weekend in Santa Cruz @ the Rio. Good stuff.{#Angel}
steve_san_carlos wrote:
This song blows. When are you guys gonna play "God of Thunder" by KISS?

Ha Ha!  Nice comment, Stevie!

Queer song this one. Reminds me of The Clangers - must be the double-contra sussaphone. Or the clarinet.  But none of those accounts for the weird lyrics.

I keep having to check the time of day in Paradise, CA, reminding myself, as we must, that some people are just putting the coffee on, not revved up and cookin', like we have been for some hours.

boringggggggg

Another cheery little toe-tapper from V.T...

I still like it.
{#Meditate} 
Nice Sunday AM vibe
 Pyro wrote:

oboe?  do you mean bassoon?

 
Possible it may be the double contra-bass sarrusophone
This song blows. When are you guys gonna play "God of Thunder" by KISS?
That was a good song, nice cover art too.  I don't know much about her, I'll have to do some research.
 BoFiS wrote:
Having seen Vienna perform this song along with Alex Wong on the melodica many times before this album came out this week, I have to say the obo isn't nearly as fun.  Great album, and song from the always-fantastic Vienna Teng either way

 
oboe?  do you mean bassoon?

Two "new to me" Vienna Teng songs in two days.  Wasn't familiar with the band, but I'm so grateful for RP turning me on to new artists.  Very interesting.  Would like to hear more VT....
Having seen Vienna perform this song along with Alex Wong on the melodica many times before this album came out this week, I have to say the obo isn't nearly as fun.  Great album, and song from the always-fantastic Vienna Teng either way

A beautiful girl, and a tremendous talent. {#Clap}


yeah, I love it...


...wow - very nice!..