Saturday, August 04, 2007

Avin' it Essex Stylee...

Mountain - Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin)

Many of you from the UK will recognise this old soft proggy rock track from 'World in Action' **(EDIT: thanks to dickvandyke for pointing out that my memory is shit, and that it's actually the theme tune from 'Weekend World', cheers dvd.)**, the weekly news program, as the end of the track was used for its titles.

For many many years I hadn't even considered that the theme had been knicked and that it was just recorded specially for the show, but having stumbled upon it by accident a good few years ago I instantly fell in love with the lumpen stodgyness of it all, I really don't know why, it's just a cracking, cracking track.

After having heard the track for a few years I still really didn't know what the hell it was all about until I read a book about the whaling ship 'The Essex' that the story of 'Moby Dick' was based on, and in the story of the Essex there was a cabin hand named Owen Coffin.

The Essex was hit by a huge Sperm whale and wrecked leaving a few lifeboats of people awash. One of these boats drifted for months, stopping off on desert islands whenever they found one, but ultimately they were starving to death, and ended up drawing a lot to see who would sacrifice them self for the good of the rest of the crew... erm! basically, who was to be eaten!
And Owen Coffin was the 'winner'. The captain tried to talk him out of it and take his place but Owen was having none of it...
He was killed and eaten and kept the remaining survivors left for several days until they were finally rescued... (end of history lesson)

Anyway, this song is dedicated to him, the silly bugger.

When I first heard this track I went out and bought a couple of albums by Mountain, to be honest I wish I hadn't, they're not very good, but I do love this track.

Buy - Mountain - Nantucket Sleighride
Buy - Nathaniel Philbrick - In the Heart of the Sea (highly recommended)
Visit - The Essex @ Wikipedia


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