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PJ Harvey — The Wheel
Album: The Hope Six Demolition Project
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Total ratings: 196

Released: 2016
Length: 5:33
Plays (last 30 days): 0
a revolving wheel of metal chairs
hung on chains, squealing

four little children flying out
a blind man sings in arabic

now you see them, now you don't
the children vanish behind a vehicle

now you see them, now you don't
faces, limbs, a bouncing skull

little children, don't disappear
I heard it was twenty-eight thousand
lost upon a revolving wheel
I heard it was twenty-eight thousand
all that's left after a year
I heard it was twenty-eight thousand
a faded face, the trace of an ear
I heard it was twenty-eight thousand

a tableau of the missing
tied to the government building

thousands of sun-bleached photographs
fading with the roses
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When PJ Harvey discussed the intentions behind the public recording sessions for her new record, she mostly focused on the resonance of Somerset House and its role in wars past. She didn't talk much about the fact that she and her band would be under near-constant scrutiny as the public gawked at them through one-way glass, which remained a fairly mysterious creative impulse. The first song to emerge from her long-awaited ninth LP might illuminate the intention. In "The Wheel," some 28,000 children have disappeared, and all we do is watch. We see them play and die violent deaths, witness their public memorial, and "watch them fade out," as Harvey sings over 20 times at the end. The figure has no attribution: a crass search of "28,000 children disappear" brings up figures pertaining to gun crime, child street labor in Kabul, or the number of NATO troops initially sent to Kosovo in the late 1990s. The wheel turns and one tragedy swiftly replaces another, seizing air-time and attention.
The music video for "The Wheel" was released on 1 February 2016 and was directed by Seamus Murphy. In a statement to Noisey, Harvey said:[6]

When I’m writing a song I visualize the entire scene. I can see the colors, I can tell the time of day, I can sense the mood, I can see the light changing, the shadows moving, everything in that picture. Gathering information from secondary sources felt too far removed for what I was trying to write about. I wanted to smell the air, feel the soil and meet the people of the countries I was fascinated with.

In his statement to Noisey, Murphy, a famous conflict zone photographer, described the inspiration for the song, video, and the project as a whole:[6]

The song 'The Wheel' has the journey to Kosovo at its center. Who is to say what else has influenced and informed its creation? The sight of a revolving fairground wheel in Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje near the capital Pristina is the concrete reference point for the title. Was that sight alone the inspiration for the song? Without being told the stories of people who had suffered during the war, without visiting villages abandoned through ethnic cleansing and cycles of vengeance, without experiencing the different perceptions of people with shared histories, could the song have been written?

I think she wants us to watch them fade out!  {#Question}
Repetitious nonsense. 
In the airplane!
nice tap yur foot song!  just purchased
 Webfoot wrote:

Watching them fade out I think.

Yes, but with gruesome exits...'trace of an ear'.....  Cheery folkish beat and lyrics with chillingly sad lyric.
Outstanding  : )   got me boppin'
 GTT wrote:
What exactly is she talking about?

Watching them fade out I think.
Excellent song.  What exactly is she talking about?
Wow, new music by PJ! To my ears this sounds very different from her past material (at least the material I'm familiar with). Liking this so far...
Oh, enough already! 
This one seems to fit in comfortably with some of Jefferson Airplane's material.
wow, not even 30 seconds in and I'm loving this!
Really like this tune, but struggling to find myself wanting to have repeat listens to the album....I'm disappointed.  SUCH a big PJ fan.
 asilbuch wrote:

{#Frustrated}   jeez, the repetition...

You sound like my dad circa 1964: All they say is "yeah, yeah, yeah." You call that repetitive crap music?

What's next, complaining about the feedback? 

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend, folks! 
 lazylemming wrote:
So great to have new PJ Harvey music!

So great to have new PJ Harvey music!
The whole album gets better the more I listen to it.  Lyrics came with the CD.
Listened to the album straight through yesterday - it is pretty heavy and intense.....especially digesting some of the lyrics.  

{#Frustrated}   jeez, the repetition...


like it
I like it a lot 
Looking forward to see her at Roskilde Festival this summer. Will be all bananas {#Bananajam}{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Bananajumprope}{#Bananasplit}{#Bananapiano}
Love this one - one of the best on the album.  Overall still trying to digest whole album.