Joanna Newsom – Kingfisher

The album version of Joanna Newsom's "Kingfisher" is showcased against the backdrop of African landscapes, native people, and a wild menagerie of animals. Keep your eyes peeled for an actual kingfisher. All images and video were captured by me in South Africa, Botswana, and Lesotho in 2007. Lyrics to Kingfisher : Whose is the hand that I will hold Whose is the face I will see Whose is the name that I will call When I am called to meet thee In this life, who did you love Beneath the drifting ashes Beneath the sheeting banks of air That barrenly bore our rations When I could speak, it was too late Didn't you hear me calling Didn't yo...u see my heart leap Like a pup in the constant barley In this life, where did you crouch When the sky had set to boiling Burning within, seen from without And your gut was a serpent, coiling And, for the sake of that pit of snakes For whom did you allay your shyness And spend all your mercy and madness, and grace In a day, beneath the bending cypress It was not on principal Show, Pro-heart, that you have got gall A miracle, I can bear a lot, but not that pall I can bear a lot, but not that pall! Kingfisher, sound the alarm Say, "Sweet little darling, now, Come to my arms; Tell me all about the love You left on the farm" He was a kind, unhurried man With a heavy lip and a steady hand But he loved me just like a little child Like a little child loves a little lamb Thrown to the ground by something down there Bitten by the bad air, while the clouds tick Trying to read all the signs Preparing for when the bombs hit Hung from the underbelly of the earth While the stars skid away, below Gormless and brakeless, gravel-loose Falling silent as gavels in the snow I lay back and spit my chaw Wrapped in the long arm of the Law Who has seen it all I can bear a lot, but not that pall I can bear a lot, but not that pall Kingfisher, cast your fly Oh, Lord, it happens without even trying When I sling a low look from my shuttering eye Blows rain upon the one you loved And, though you were only sparring There's blood on the eye, unlace the glove Say, honey I am not sorry Stand here and name the one you loved Beneath the drifting ashes And, in naming, rise above time As it, flashing, passes We came by the boatload And were immobilized Worshipping volcanoes Charting the loping skies The tides of the earth Left us bound, and calcified And made as obstinate as obsidian Unmoving, save our eyes Just mooning and blinking From faces marked with coal Ash cooling and shrinking Cracks loud as thunder rolling I swear I know you, you know me Where have we met before Tell me true To whose authority Do you consign your soul I had a dream you came to me Said you shall not do me harm anymore And with your knife, you evicted my life From its little lighthouse on the seashore And I saw that my blood had no bounds Spreading in a circle like an atom bomb Soaking and felling everything in its path And welling in my heart like a birdbath It is too short, the day we are born We commence with our dying Trying to serve with the heart of a child Kingfisher, lie with the lion