No, the best quality version (ever) was here, in Chile
"Oscar Wilde's mother, Speranza, wrote a book called Driftwood from Scandinavia which was published in 1884. It arose from her travels with her husband, Sir William Wilde, to Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, and is "a melange of Scandinavian history and legend with the author's personal observations on that society and her sustained attacks on British society in contrast". William died in 1876 so there was quite a gap in getting the finished work out. She was very often short of money after his death, in debt, though her works were popular enough. This book is still just about available, but very little information is out there about contents. Has anyone read it, and could it possibly have fed into Morrissey's song?"
Is this, what I wrote elsewhere, of relevance? http://allyouneedismorrissey.com/single/?p=583570&t=4416798
I was just listening to a live version of the, probably, album-to-be song "Scandinavia", and got quite strong associations to a kind of nationalistic theme. It starts with this dysantropic view against us northern europeans, but "then You came along" etc.
Especially I find these parts interesting:
"I kiss the soil/I hug the soil/I eat the soil"
"Un-protesting I'll die in Scandinavia [...] I'll be happy to die in Scandinavia"
Of course, you would reject this view claiming Morrissey being british (irish etc. etc.) but nevertheless these are connections to a romantic picture - the Soil of Scandinavia - depending on wheter you choose to interpret those parts of the song or not. I agree it definitely would be a bit heavy to call it Blut und Boden, but as we have seen in the past Morrissey tend to write about several different things, so I wouldn't rule it out.
And Im sure that this site have been through a thousand of discussions about those kinds of nationalistic aspects of Morrisseys works, but I haven't seen a specific discussion about "Scandinavia" - maybe rather reasonable since it hasn't been released yet.
Just some thoughts from a scandinavian.
Do reply and tell me if I'm insane, or if there is a chance that Morrissey describes this fascination with the Northern Soil in terms that (at least in a scared country like mine) would be seen as Patriotic (that is in a negative sense).
[I havn't been here for a while, If this topic has already been discussed, then do ignore this post - or delete it.]
Of course, but in that case he also is not automatically associated with the attitudes he describe.
In any case, the song plainly describes how someone who absolutely abhors Scandinavia acquires an adoring attitude to it (as expressed by the quoted lines in the OP) through falling in love with a Scandinavian person. How would one squeeze that into a nationalism-centred interpretation? And more to the point, why?
I do like Morrissey, but I am almost a bit - not ashamed exactly, but I don't think we have that much in
common. The big difference is that he is extremely ironic all the time. That's the number one thing he's doing.
It is an English characteristic. Swedish people have a more direct contact with dark things
I hope you havn't misunderstood me.
This is - as you said - my interpretation of the song, and therefore I might have to give a direct answer.
Iam simply making a remark that the lines in which "I" (whoever that might be) kiss the soil, hug the soil etc., is very vitalistic - by which I mean the worshiping of the earth, light, blood etc. (sometimes connected to fascist blut und boden tradition in germany)
And the final lines is almost a copy from the last lines of the swedish national anthem: "jag vill leva jag vill dö i norden" ("I wan't to live and die in the north [scandinavia]").
BUT, this is my thoughts, it's just my speculations.
We have had to other good answers in this thread which connects "Scandinavia" first with Brecht (which would of course be the opposite of blut und boden), very interesting indeed. And then the parallell to Wildes mother, which would also be an interesting perspective since Morrissey have read a lot of her sons work.
The most fascinating thing is the turn, from hate to love.
Then WHY would I make this incomplete analysis?
Because it's justified to always look at different perspectives of the song, you always interpret it, depending if you choose to focus on the parts you find or ignore them and follow up the classical morrissey-working-class-smiths-persona which, I would say, is gone now. He is a vegetarian, but I can't see a lot of social engagement recently.
Anyhow, this demand of interpretation does, obviously, not mean that the person who wrote it must be a political extremist, on the contrary I think Morrissey tend to be ironic quite often - to quote the swedish artist Stina Nordenstam:
Yes we do, we commit suicide instead
If instead you infer the context from the lyric as a whole, there are several elements in it that strongly resist a context such as the one you raise - to the point that I for one would see it as far-fetched even considered as an element of vague ambivalence.
Well, your fart is all very well, but I counter with a burp.
Still [when you said: “that context cannot simply be inferred from the associations a few words might conjure up in a listener” ] I have to disagree. The effect upon the listener, the experience so to speak, is the first thing one meet, it is fundamental.
It would be nonsense to ignore a feeling, since it is important to how we react to an aesthetic phenomena, in “Reader meet author” I feelt a kind of critic against the medias view on class-struggles etc. Afterwards, this interpretation might have some evidence, I don’t know, but the first impression is important.
Would you, say that you have another view on the song, if so – I’d very much like to hear that subjective theory/view, instead of this discussion. How do you, herr kvist, interpret Scandinavia?
The sense I come away with is hence primarily about the force of love, and about how we experience other broader phenomena (such as places) through our relation with other people. In other words, it is people who matter - a fairly classic Morrisseyesque theme. Which is also the case with how extreme and uncompromising the terms are in which he describes his feelings for Scandinavia, and which underlines the basic point of how love transforms everything, utterly.
...Thus, leaders with a more complex meaning-making system seem to have access to enhanced and new capacities that others do not. This appears to strengthen their ability to respond to complex, ambiguous, and sophisticated challenges....
and...The Ironist focuses on being as well as on witnessing the moment to moment flux of experience, states of mind, and arising of consciousness. ..
-...These include the ability to: take a systems view and even a unitive view on reality; simultaneously hold and manage conflicting frames, perspectives and emotions; and deeply accept oneself, others, and the moment, without judgment. Research on these stages also suggests that such individuals have a deep access to intuition and perceive their rational mind as a tool, not as the dominant vehicle to understand reality. They appear to deeply tolerate uncertainty and even collaboratively engage with ambiguity to create in the world. Finally, they are subject to frequent “flow” and “witnessing” states of consciousness...
Easily the most sensible and insightful comment in this thread. Honestly the amount of esoteric pompous bullshit knocking about in this thread is truly mind boggling.
And despite the attempts at high brow and intelligentsia much (most) of it really is a steaming pile of garbage without a point..
As if you'd know.