Thursday, December 16, 2010

Compare and Contrast: No Nukes

And speaking as we were yesterday of unsung garage/psychedelic heroes The Misunderstood, from 1966 here's their rather astoundingly Yardbirds-ish "I Unseen"...

...a very powerful anti-war song whose lyrics you may be more familiar with from The Byrds (also from 1966) "I Come and Stand at Every Door."

The Byrds track, as some of you may be aware, is one of my favorite things ever (David Crosby's out-of-the-blue harmony line on the last verse is devastating, I think), but their version (courtesy of Pete Seeger) appropriates the melody of an old Celtic folk song called "The Silkie." The lyrics to both versions, however, are based on a translation of a poem by Turkish writer Nazim Hikmet; you can find out more about the provenance of the song at that link.

In any case, The Misunderstood's radical re-imagining of it really does suggest that these guys could have been a major band if the fates -- including the Vietnam War era draft, ironically enough -- hadn't intervened.