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PJ Harvey — On Battleship Hill
Album: Let England Shake
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 916








Released: 2011
Length: 3:57
Plays (last 30 days): 1
The scent of Thyme carried on the wind,
stings your face into remembering
cruel nature has won again.

On Battleship Hill's caved in trenches,
a hateful feeling still lingers,
even now, 80 years later.
Cruel nature.
Cruel, cruel nature.

The land returns to how it has always been.
The scent of Thyme carried on the wind.
Jagged mountains, jutting out,
cracked like teeth in a rotten mouth.
On Battleship Hill I hear the wind,
Say "Cruel nature has won again."
Comments (94)add comment
This girl Rocks!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB1Eat-n654
Unless I am mistaken, this song makes reference to the Battle of Gallipoli..that ill-fated adventure conceived by Kitchener and Churchill. 
When people ask me who some of my favorite musical artists are, I always say PJ Harvey, and 95% of the time they say, "who?"  How someone so talented can be unknown to the masses is a mystery to me.
The is a pure 10!
WHAT AN ALBUM! This has got to be my favourite PJ Harvey album. Followed closely by Dry
 rdo wrote:
Bam23: What do you have against German immigrants? In any context. Please be specific.

(I am responding to derogatory comments by Bam23 and Fred Riley which I choose not to repost and will likely be removed in the future)
 
Still puzzling. Although this post is from 2014, it still astonishes me that anyone could have read what I wrote and come away with any sense that it was derogatory toward Germans, or anyone for that matter. I generally enjoy reading comments here, more often when the context is musical, but often interesting observations surface. And then, we have comments that create offenses from nothingness. Were the comments that you found objectionable removed? And who would do that? Of course, we all live inside our minds to some degree, but such labyrinthine corridors must exist for some of us!
 oppositelock wrote:
Congratulations to PJ Harvey for becoming the first artist ever to win the Mercury Prize twice in a lifetime!  She won for "Let England Shake" last week.   She won for the first time on September 11, 2001 for "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea," another great album.  Something else was happening that day so no one noticed.  She was in Washington DC and actually saw the Pentagon burning from her hotel room.  

"Let England Shake" is a great album but it takes a couple listens to get into.  In Dark Places and Written On The Forehead are my other favorites from this album.


big stud romeotuma wrote:
Wow!  That is very interesting stuff!

I have looked into this song, and from what I understand, the haunting music matches the historical ghosts defined in the lyrics—

Harvey told NME: "Battleship Hill was the place of a particularly bloody battlefield. The 'scent of rhyme' was because it grows wild in Gallipoli."

Harvey told The Sun about this song: "Throughout the songs on the album, nature plays a great role. I'd chosen to look at a lot of ancient folk songs from all over the world. Songs from hundreds of years ago passed down the line in Cambodia, Ireland, Vietnam, Russia. And a theme which comes through in all these countries' music is your relationship to the land. The lyric: 'I hear the wind say, cruel nature has won again,' captures that feeling. No matter what happens to us, nature will always be there. Which is comforting but also quite brutal."

I like this song a LOT...

 
Everybody in my elevator loves this groovy song...  we be dancing like happy hippies...  love sex, drugs, and groovy rock 'n roll...
I like it, thanks for playing PJ.
auditory hell...PSD
"Ok Universe, I'll get to work now. Thanks for the reminder. BYE!"
 percheron wrote:
I normally like pj Harvey, but this sucks. squeeling eels would be more melodic. 
 
I love this song.  You must have ears like a large horse!
  percheron wrote:
I normally like pj Harvey, but this sucks. squeeling eels would be more melodic. 

On_The_Beach wrote:

Eels squeal? Dang, ya learn sumthin' ever day.

 
I believe that they shriek. At least according to one of the most important films to ever be produced. ("Princess Bride")
This should explain it...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGcat9tGZVU

BTW - I kinda like this one by her. Going to have to hear it again...(sorry percheron)

 
This músic is a genuine american song...{#Wave}
 percheron wrote:
I normally like pj Harvey, but this sucks. squeeling eels would be more melodic. 
 
Eels squeal? Dang, ya learn sumthin' ever day.
I normally like pj Harvey, but this sucks. squeeling eels would be more melodic. 
Bam23: What do you have against German immigrants? In any context. Please be specific.

(I am responding to derogatory comments by Bam23 and Fred Riley which I choose not to repost and will likely be removed in the future)
 rdo wrote:
Wow.  And here all this time I thought being anti-immigrant was immoral.  Isn't it funny how the same people lecturing us on our immigration policy are so anti-immigration themselves.  Silly me.  I love our immigrants---they are the backbone of this country. We need more immigration.  I am one of those descendants of "German immigrants" (mentioned below, if it does not get edited out by the commenter). I would never demonize anyone that way.  Can you say hate speech?  
 
Wow, indeed! What the hell are you referring to? Curious, I looked through a fair number of the previous posts and cannot determine what you are on about. The song is definitively England-based, and you appear not to be. Although the general thread of the comments to songs here is music-based, obviously other aspects of our lives intrude, and this makes the reading much more interesting and often informative. But, coherence should not be overlooked. Hate speech? Where? All I see is a discussion about the German heritage of the British royal family, a carryover from the era when elite families made alliances based on marriage across the European continent. Is this what you are discussing? 
Wow.  And here all this time I thought being anti-immigrant was immoral.  Isn't it funny how the same people lecturing us on our immigration policy are so anti-immigration themselves.  Silly me.  I love our immigrants---they are the backbone of this country. We need more immigration.  I am one of those descendants of "German immigrants" (mentioned below, if it does not get edited out by the commenter). I would never demonize anyone that way.  Can you say hate speech?  
cool solid music!  Brilliant commentary!!!  maybe expand on PJ H's menu, at the least some more from Battleship Hill, thanks DJ
 
At the risk of repeating myself - this is an incredible album to sit down in the evening and listen straight through.  It has an amazing theme and cohesion as a whole. {#Music}
 oldsaxon wrote:

I'd like to argue but I can't find a fault in your statement. England is still feudal.
 
Sadly, you're right, as has been very clearly proven by our current regime being made up of ruling-class public schoolboys (and occasional gel, don't you know) whose class disdain for us plebs is clear. A large chunk of the English population still venerates the aristocracy and the inbred descendants of German robber barons - sorry, the 'Royal Family'. England did have its revolution, as did France, but unlike our Gallic neighbours our revolution stalled and the robber barons made a comeback. One day maybe the revolution will be completed, but perhaps unlike the French we'll spare the blue bloods from the guillotine - more fitting would be making their palaces into hostels for the homeless, and putting the aristos into sink estates. I could just see Charlie Windsor Saxe-Coburg slumming it in Easterhouse...

I digress and fantasise. As a previous poster pointed out, correcting my earlier comment, PJ's album is more about war and violence than it is about Englishness, though as the dominant reactionary conception of Englishness is so based on war and battles then being anti-war is implicitly being anti-reactionary-Englishness. It is a very powerful album, and a rewarding though tough listen. Nice one, Polly.
Sucko Barfo {#Hand}  Too much screechin.... 
 bb_matt wrote:

it's most definitely not a commentary on England today in the way your referring (englishness) 
It's about battle, about war. It's specifically about England at war and about England as a country built on war and bloodshed. Generally, it's about the futility and destruction that war brings.

Besides...

Everyone in my local pub likes this song. 

 
I'd like to argue but I can't find a fault in your statement. England is still feudal. Maybe one day it'll be better but till then I'll just listen to the lessons and hope we learn.
 fredriley wrote:
This album as a whole is a sharp and oblique commentary on England today, a necessary corrective to the currently dominant reactionary idea of 'Englishness'. It's probably a bit too subtle for knuckledragging Ingerlan 'patriots'...

 
it's most definitely not a commentary on England today in the way your referring (englishness) 
It's about battle, about war. It's specifically about England at war and about England as a country built on war and bloodshed. Generally, it's about the futility and destruction that war brings.

Besides...

Everyone in my local pub likes this song. 
..love it when we get to put on some PJs and frolic around while we dig into it a bit..
Make it stop.


OK. The music is good. 2 > 4
 fredriley wrote:
This album as a whole is a sharp and oblique commentary on England today, a necessary corrective to the currently dominant reactionary idea of 'Englishness'. It's probably a bit too subtle for knuckledragging Ingerlan 'patriots'...

 
Oh no, there ain't no knuckle draggers on your side of the pond. Ha! I've been to Surrey.
{#Sick} Blech..........Her voice hits a tone I care not to hear anymore.
This album as a whole is a sharp and oblique commentary on England today, a necessary corrective to the currently dominant reactionary idea of 'Englishness'. It's probably a bit too subtle for knuckledragging Ingerlan 'patriots'...
 oppositelock wrote:
My favorite album for about two years straight.  Took a while to get into it.  Brilliant.

 
Yes it takes a while to sink in .
My favorite album for about two years straight.  Took a while to get into it.  Brilliant.
 martinc wrote:
Well that was pretty odd and I have there PJ albums. She never fails to be unpredictable and sometimes in her own little space.
 

that hits it  pretty good
Well that was pretty odd and I have there PJ albums. She never fails to be unpredictable and sometimes in her own little space.
As sung by Sarah Brightman?


ghostly...  love it...

 
ech, screechy
 TerryS wrote:


NBC reported yesterday that astronaut Neil Young died at the age 82.
Yes, they really did.
 

So fucking stupid. I feel ashamed of studying journalism!
 GarageDragon wrote:


"The moon belongs to America and anxiously awaits the arrival of our Astro-men."
 

NBC reported yesterday that astronaut Neil Young died at the age 82.
Yes, they really did.
 Hannio wrote:
Lyrics remind me of one of those Simpson's educational films, "Man and Nature - The Road to Victory!"
 



"The moon belongs to America and anxiously awaits the arrival of our Astro-men."
Lyrics remind me of one of those Simpson's educational films, "Man and Nature - The Road to Victory!"
Sorry, I am just not feeling it on this song.  The vocals are too distracting.


Report: Nature May Soon Overcome Monsanto as ‘Super Rootworms’ Destroy Crops
by Anthony Gucciardi
Natural Society
June 28, 2012

What will be the end of Monsanto? Could it be lawsuits, new legislation, or perhaps even a tiny insect that is less than 0.10 mm in length. A new report reveals that rootworms may ultimately be what ends Monsanto’s crops, despite the biotech giant’s rampant success within the United States legislative system. Amazingly, western corn rootworms have virtually no problem gobbling up Monsanto’s modified maize crop, as they have developed a serious resistance to the very crops designed to kill them. So much so that these little critters are outpacing Monsanto’s top scientists.

To make matters worse for the company, the resistant rootworms are maturing earlier than expected this year. And with the enhanced growth has come enhanced birth rates, with the bug’s larvae hatching the earliest in decades. Monsanto, of course, is absolutely defenseless against the resistant rootworms which have adapted to their biopesticide known as Bt. At least 8 populations of insects have developed resistance, with 2 populations resistant to Bt sprays and at least 6 species resistant to Bt crops as a whole...


 TerryS wrote:
Well, after that, someone has to say-...................................................This song is soooo good for the ears...
 

This song be very very groovy...

 
Well, after that, someone has to say-...................................................This song is soooo good for the ears...

 oppositelock wrote:
Congratulations to PJ Harvey for becoming the first artist ever to win the Mercury Prize twice in a lifetime!  She won for "Let England Shake" last week.   She won for the first time on September 11, 2001 for "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea," another great album.  Something else was happening that day so no one noticed.  She was in Washington DC and actually saw the Pentagon burning from her hotel room.  

"Let England Shake" is a great album but it takes a couple listens to get into.  In Dark Places and Written On The Forehead are my other favorites from this album.
 
Wow!  That is very interesting stuff!

I have looked into this song, and from what I understand, the haunting music matches the historical ghosts defined in the lyrics—

Harvey told NME: "Battleship Hill was the place of a particularly bloody battlefield. The 'scent of rhyme' was because it grows wild in Gallipoli."

Harvey told The Sun about this song: "Throughout the songs on the album, nature plays a great role. I'd chosen to look at a lot of ancient folk songs from all over the world. Songs from hundreds of years ago passed down the line in Cambodia, Ireland, Vietnam, Russia. And a theme which comes through in all these countries' music is your relationship to the land. The lyric: 'I hear the wind say, cruel nature has won again,' captures that feeling. No matter what happens to us, nature will always be there. Which is comforting but also quite brutal."

I like this song a LOT...

 


I will always love Polly. Love the background vocals guy (s & gals?).
 romeotuma wrote:


marvelous...  love it...

 
 
Ya know, I'm usually pretty much on the same wavelength with romeo but this tune absolutely makes my hair hurt! UGGHH!


marvelous...  love it...

 
This is very intriguing - like everything I've heard from PJ Harvey!  Please play more from this album, Bill!
I generally really like PJ Harvey, and the song sounds intriguing, but the pitch is like an icepick into my temples and I just can't do it. 
 MTL_Robbie wrote:
I believe PJ is a genius. Very creative, never the same, keeps the listener on his/her toes.
I am enjoying this very much, as with the whole "Let England Shake".
 
Probably my favorite CD of last year.
This is horrible..... UGH......
Is this really Polly Jean? 
I loved her stuff in the 90's with her grungy bass lines and agonized songs of pain and frustration. Seem like she's grown up, like her fans? Unfortunately the high pitched singing is rather hard to listen to (one could say agonizing) although the lyrics still sound good.
Because it's Polly I'll reserve judgment for now.
I believe PJ is a genius. Very creative, never the same, keeps the listener on his/her toes.
I am enjoying this very much, as with the whole "Let England Shake".
 pianocomposer wrote:

Yes. At some point I previewed most of this album on Grooveshark or something. It's awesome. Upgraded from 7 -> 8. 
 

Cool!  Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...

 
Caught this on my PSD stream,never again. #4

 jools wrote:
Face Hand. Mute button
 

Really?  What about it do you not like?
Kinda the antithesis of her 90:ies sound.
Face Hand. Mute button
Early on it sounds a lot like Cat Power.  Or I suppose Cat Power sounds like PJ Harvey.
 romeotuma wrote:


This song is soooo good for the ears...


 
 
Yes. At some point I previewed most of this album on Grooveshark or something. It's awesome. Upgraded from 7 -> 8. 


This song is soooo good for the ears...


 
Just caught the last few notes of this....darn!
Wow. Just....wow.


Haunting melody...  I dig it...

 
 mandolin wrote:

...give it time; it's a grower...
 
You're right! 7 —> 8

Amazing song, and also, I never realized that PJ had this kind of vocal range!
 mandolin wrote:

...give it time; it's a grower...
 
True! Some albums need listening them from first track to last one in one session. This need good headphones and quiet hour on the listening chair. For my particular taste, this became the best album of year 2011. Such a fine album overall.


 Ears_of_Stone wrote:
Battleship Hill: https://www.gallipoli.com.tr/silent_witnesses/battleship_hill-trenches.htm

"Just before reaching Chunuk Bair, a signpost at the left hand side of the road marks an important spot on the battlefield: Battleship Hill ( Düztepe- Flat Hill ), also known to the Allies as Big 700.
During part of the campaign, the Turkish 10th regiment, which operated under Mustafa Kemal's famous 19th Division, defended this position. The remains of this trenches that can still be seen here were mainly obsevation posts. From April 25 onwards the British fleet kept up an almost continuous bombardment of Battleship Hill."
On Battleship Hill lyrics
Songwriters: P.j. Harvey



The scent of Thyme carried on the wind
Stings my face into remembering
Cruel nature has won again
Cruel nature has won again

On Battleship Hills caved in trenches
A hateful feeling still lingers
Even now 80 years later
Cruel nature, cruel, cruel nature

The land returns to how it has always been
Thyme carried on the wind
Jagged mountains, jutting out
Cracked like teeth in a rotten mouth

On Battleship Hill I hear the wind
Say, "Cruel nature has won again"
Cruel nature has won again
Cruel nature has won again
Cruel nature has won agai

 

Thanks! Powerful lyrics.

Heard of PJ Harvey, but not this.  She frightens me, yet I like her.  Bring it on!
Came to upload this...found it was already in the RP vault. Doesn't sound too much like other PJ work, but like it...a lot.

I'm still stumped by the haters...but wtfevah. I'm in.
PJ Harvey is brilliant - nuf' said!{#Whipit}
 

 donnyballgame wrote:
This brought me out of a daydreaming stupor.
 
And not in a good way.
7 -> 8
Ratings are all over the place on this one but if you look closely more 10's then any other number.  I didn't know much about PJ Harvey till I started listening to RP.  Now I own everything she has out there, I think!  She says about 70% of the songs she writes she doesn't use because it might sound like an older album she has done.  She wants every album to be different and unique.  This album is brilliant. Thanks RP!
 d-don wrote:
{#No} Ouch. Normally like PJ.
 
Agree — before I saw who it was I thought I at least could like the music without the vocals...


 hippiechick wrote:
I own all of Polly Jean's records, but her voice is so bizarre sometimes.
 
You would like her to be boring? Predictable? Both? Personally, while I hear moments in this song that I might call 'bizarre' I don't see that at all for the vast majority of this song. Or for the album, for that matter.

Battleship Hill: https://www.gallipoli.com.tr/silent_witnesses/battleship_hill-trenches.htm

"Just before reaching Chunuk Bair, a signpost at the left hand side of the road marks an important spot on the battlefield: Battleship Hill ( Düztepe- Flat Hill ), also known to the Allies as Big 700.
During part of the campaign, the Turkish 10th regiment, which operated under Mustafa Kemal's famous 19th Division, defended this position. The remains of this trenches that can still be seen here were mainly obsevation posts. From April 25 onwards the British fleet kept up an almost continuous bombardment of Battleship Hill."
On Battleship Hill lyrics
Songwriters: P.j. Harvey



The scent of Thyme carried on the wind
Stings my face into remembering
Cruel nature has won again
Cruel nature has won again

On Battleship Hills caved in trenches
A hateful feeling still lingers
Even now 80 years later
Cruel nature, cruel, cruel nature

The land returns to how it has always been
Thyme carried on the wind
Jagged mountains, jutting out
Cracked like teeth in a rotten mouth

On Battleship Hill I hear the wind
Say, "Cruel nature has won again"
Cruel nature has won again
Cruel nature has won again
Cruel nature has won agai





I wish I didn't, but I hate this.
I own all of Polly Jean's records, but her voice is so bizarre sometimes.
This brought me out of a daydreaming stupor.
This is a variation of Kate Bush/Nick Cave?
 d-don wrote:
{#No} Ouch. Normally like PJ.
 
...give it time; it's a grower...
Awesome - psyched for new PJ Harvey!
{#No} Ouch. Normally like PJ.
I had a crystal wine glass sitting next to one of my speakers.  It shattered on that first high note.

(Not really, but it could happen.)
 oppositelock wrote:
Congratulations to PJ Harvey for becoming the first artist ever to win the Mercury Prize twice in a lifetime!  She won for "Let England Shake" last week.   She won for the first time on September 11, 2001 for "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea," another great album.  Something else was happening that day so no one noticed.  She was in Washington DC and actually saw the Pentagon burning from her hotel room.  

"Let England Shake" is a great album but it takes a couple listens to get into.  In Dark Places and Written On The Forehead are my other favorites from this album.
 

This CD is definitely on my short list for my Favorite CD of 2011. From top to bottom a solid, solid effort.
 scraig wrote:
Did Yoko Ono highjack Fleet Foxes?
 
Bwaah! That starting voice is pretty tortured. I don't know whether to feel more sorry for her or for those listening. Like Harvey usually.

Did Yoko Ono highjack Fleet Foxes?
...nice...
Love PJ!
Congratulations to PJ Harvey for becoming the first artist ever to win the Mercury Prize twice in a lifetime!  She won for "Let England Shake" last week.   She won for the first time on September 11, 2001 for "Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea," another great album.  Something else was happening that day so no one noticed.  She was in Washington DC and actually saw the Pentagon burning from her hotel room.  

"Let England Shake" is a great album but it takes a couple listens to get into.  In Dark Places and Written On The Forehead are my other favorites from this album.
A run of new (to RP) stuff! {#Angel} And this is pretty okay.