Wednesday, 14 May 2008

PORTISHEAD: Deep Water


"It is often the case with really important people. Anonymity is the best disguise."

(The as yet unmasked D to Patrick McGoohan's 6 in The Prisoner, episode 3: "A, B & C")


Always seen as the least conspicuous song on the album, and sometimes the most irritating of interludes, but it always turns out to be the glue which holds the rest of the record together. So it was with "Within You, Without You," and with "Songbird," the only song on Rumours to ask for unity, and with "Deep Water." It lasts no more than 85 seconds, is largely for voice and hesitant single-string banjo with discreet harmony accompaniment for the Somerfield Workers' Choir and is the simplest and seemingly most peaceful of these songs.


But listen to her - she is almost completely drowned, scarcely able to croak a note, at her last ebb, holding onto life as the rest of the world tries to displace her, shattered, defeated. Or at least she would be, except even with what sounds like her last breath she vows that she will weather the storm, that even if this hostile river, or sea, or bathtub, flows against her will it may yet "somehow turn me around.""No matter how far I drift," she lullabies herself to her senses, "Deep waters won't scare me tonight."
She's down, but she's capable of anything.
We attempt to damage the tissue at our peril.