Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Elliott Murphy: Eva Braun

Elliott Murphy is a modern day folksinger that I came to know through his second album “Lost Generation.” I purchased the LP in 1978 at a Pittsburgh store whose name that escapes me. It was located in the former loft that once housed The Free People’s Store on Meyran Avenue in Oakland. The store continued with the low album prices that its forerunner had been known to offer.

While the album was anything but free, it was at a significant discount. Its cover featured an angelic looking Murphy with stylized rays emanating from his cranium. The effect was created by photographing Murphy in front of an opened parachute that was back lit. It produced a neat result.



One of the songs on this LP from 1975 was the politically charged, historically relevant, and possibly prophetic “Eva Braun.” The song was composed by Murphy in 1972 while he was staying in Munich. While there is an inference to the Munich massacre of 1972 where 11 Israeli Olympians were killed by Palestinian terrorists and a reference to the fascist ideology of Ezra Pound, it primarily concentrates on Munich's checkered past. This includes National Socialism’s rise to power in Munich, the Dachau concentration camp 10 miles distant, and of course Hitler’s love interest Eva Braun who was born in the Bavarian capital.

Fräulein Braun caught up in the furor over Der Führer 


The song also alludes to the myth that Hitler escaped to Argentina. When Murphy performed the song in Munich in 1972, it was obviously not well received. The point of the story is that Murphy feared that history would repeat itself. This is evident with the lyric, “And someday soon I fear they'll sing his song again.” Here’s a live acoustic rendition of the tune recorded in 1974 by Murphy and his band.



Lyrics

Well the ghost of Adolph Hitler stands inside your shoes
Sings you fascist blues in the moonlight
Just a leather lullaby keeps baby dry
Helps to keep the third world off the airplanes
And you know I've watched you panic
And you think I'm going to watch you die
Send you black stockings made in Dachau
Cause the jokes that they are telling
They all seem much too sad
Every Sunday morning you've been had
And no one's listening

And you can dance from Munich to Berlin
And you can scream at the scene and ask Ezra Pound, well what were you doing
And his eyes at night were chilling
And his words were oh so thrilling
And someday soon I fear they'll sing his song again

You know the ladies don't go to market
When the brown shirts march through town
And your neighbors can’t be found in the morning
And there's a story being told
There's a man with a mustache growing senile and old
Screaming orders into the jungles of Argentina

And you know I've watched you panic
And you think I'm going to watch you die
Send you black stockings made in Dachau
Cause the jokes that they are telling
They all seem much too sad
Just like Eva Braun and her home movies in the mountains

And you can dance from Munich to Berlin
And you can scream at the scene and ask Ezra Pound, well what was he doing
But his eyes at night were chilling
And his words were oh so thrilling
And someday soon I fear they'll sing that song again




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