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Genesis and Helen of Troy

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BaldJean View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldJean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Genesis and Helen of Troy
    Posted: December 05 2021 at 07:27
Genesis made two songs in which Helen of Troy is mentioned. one is "Blood on the Rooftops" with the line "seems Helen of Troy has found a new face again".

in the other song the reference is not so obvious. I could name it, but I would like to play a little guessing game with you. so what song am I talking about and what is the reference?


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Manuel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2021 at 07:37
Honestly, I have no clue, but Iím quite curious to find out. Iíll dig some Genesis lyrics out, to try to guess.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2021 at 07:58
The face that launched a thousand ships
Is sinking fast, that happens you know
The water gets below
Seems not very long ago
Lovelier she was than any that I know
...a vigorous circular motion hitherto unknown to the people of this area, but destined
to take the place of the mud shark in your mythology...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BaldJean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2021 at 08:14
Originally posted by The Dark Elf The Dark Elf wrote:

The face that launched a thousand ships
Is sinking fast, that happens you know
The water gets below
Seems not very long ago
Lovelier she was than any that I know

very well done. the line "the face that launched a thousand ships" is actually from the play "The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus" by Shakespeare contemporary Christopher Marlowe (some literature buffs actually believe Marlowe wrote Shakespeare's plays). here the citation from the play:

Was this the face that launched a thousand ships
And burnt the topless towers of Illium
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss...


Edited by BaldJean - December 05 2021 at 08:15


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tuzvihar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2021 at 11:50
^ Hey, happy birthday, Jean! Party
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2021 at 12:31
Originally posted by The Dark Elf The Dark Elf wrote:

The face that launched a thousand ships
Is sinking fast, that happens you know
The water gets below
Seems not very long ago
Lovelier she was than any that I know

Outstanding!  I saw them do an excellent live version of this song on the "ATTWT" tour, one of my favorites!
I am not a Robot, I'm a FREE MAN!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2021 at 12:33
Originally posted by Tuzvihar Tuzvihar wrote:

^ Hey, happy birthday, Jean! Party
Hey absolutely...Happy Birthday Jean ! I really should pay more attention to the birthday list.
Hope you have a wonderful day. Hug


Edited by JD - December 05 2021 at 12:33
Thank you for supporting independently produced music
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rednight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2021 at 12:38
Originally posted by BaldJean BaldJean wrote:

very well done. the line "the face that launched a thousand ships" is actually from the play "The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus" by Shakespeare contemporary Christopher Marlowe (some literature buffs actually believe Marlowe wrote Shakespeare's plays). here the citation from the play:

Was this the face that launched a thousand ships
And burnt the topless towers of Illium
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss...

I guess this thread is resolved.

Edited by Rednight - December 06 2021 at 15:29
"It just has none of the qualities of your work that I find interesting. Abandon [?] it." - Eno
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rednight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2021 at 12:43
Originally posted by cstack3 cstack3 wrote:


Outstanding! †I saw them do an excellent live version of this song on the "ATTWT" tour, one of my favorites!
Let's not forget the excellent live version on Genesis Archive #2.
"It just has none of the qualities of your work that I find interesting. Abandon [?] it." - Eno
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldJean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 05 2021 at 13:53
Originally posted by JD JD wrote:

Originally posted by Tuzvihar Tuzvihar wrote:

^ Hey, happy birthday, Jean! Party
Hey absolutely...Happy Birthday Jean ! I really should pay more attention to the birthday list.
Hope you have a wonderful day. Hug

thank you very much to both of you. Friede will call me "old woman" for 53 days now until she has birthday herself and we are of the same age again. I will call her "young chicken" during this time. it is a routine we have been doing for years now Wink


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 06 2021 at 02:36
Although not Genesis, there is a great song by Al Stewart called Helen and Cassandra which appeared on the Last Days of The Century album from 1987. Probably the most prog thing he ever did.





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hugh Manatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 13 2021 at 21:03
If we are moving this thread into songs citing Helen of Troy territory then I would like to trot out John Cale's take:

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of uncertain seas
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nick_h_nz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2021 at 01:12
Originally posted by Hugh Manatee Hugh Manatee wrote:

If we are moving this thread into songs citing Helen of Troy territory then I would like to trot out John Cale's take:


Thatís the first song that comes to my mind if ever Helen of Troy is brought up in relation to music. Those three Island albums are easily among the best things Cale has released. ❤️

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hugh Manatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2021 at 01:32
Originally posted by nick_h_nz nick_h_nz wrote:

Those three Island albums are easily among the best things Cale has released. ❤️

I totally agree, and would add that "Guts" is a fine concise collection of highlights from that period.

I do think those early albums tower over his later output and although I do appreciate Cales subsequent releases, particularly "A.I." and "HoboSapien" I tend to find his albums after the Island years can be very spotty.


Edited by Hugh Manatee - December 14 2021 at 01:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sean Trane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2021 at 02:37
I wouldn't have found the answer myself. Embarrassed

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Although not Genesis, there is a great song by Al Stewart called Helen and Cassandra which appeared on the Last Days of The Century album from 1987. Probably the most prog thing he ever did.

Mmmmhhhh!!!!....

When Ken & I tried to get him included as Prog-related, we didn't use that album, but the trilogy before Year Of The Cat album. sounded way proggier to us.

Originally posted by Hugh Manatee Hugh Manatee wrote:

If we are moving this thread into songs citing Helen of Troy territory then I would like to trot out John Cale's take:


TBH, that was my only thought into this thread.


I'm more of Church Of Anthrax man myself, but the five from Academy until Troy are OK to my neurones.


Edited by Sean Trane - December 14 2021 at 02:44
let's just stay above the moral melee
prefer the sink to the gutter
keep our sand-castle virtues
content to be a doer
as well as a thinker,
prefer lifting our pen
rather than un-sheath our sword
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hugh Manatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2021 at 02:54
Sean Trane posted:

"When Ken & I tried to get him included as Prog-related, we didn't use that album, but the trilogy before Year Of The Cat album. sounded way proggier to us."


...and I agree. "Past, Present and Future" and "Modern Times" at least seem very prog, and even "Time Pasages" sounds proggy to me.


Edited by Hugh Manatee - December 14 2021 at 02:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2021 at 16:06
^ yep the 'Folk Prog' trilogy although Nostradamus and Roads to Moscow stand out a mile. There is a trickle of prog from Al 'I took a guitar lesson off Robert Fripp once' Stewart up to and including Last Days Of The Century. That album has the title track plus Helen and Cassandra , Fields Of France, Where Are They Now and Ghostly Horses of The Plain which have plenty of prog credentials but the album is quite largely overlooked. In fact every song is a gem. Puzzles me to death that one..Smile 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hugh Manatee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2021 at 16:53
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

^ yep the 'Folk Prog' trilogy although Nostradamus and Roads to Moscow stand out a mile. There is a trickle of prog from Al 'I took a guitar lesson off Robert Fripp once' Stewart up to and including Last Days Of The Century. That album has the title track plus Helen and Cassandra , Fields Of France, Where Are They Now and Ghostly Horses of The Plain which have plenty of prog credentials but the album is quite largely overlooked. In fact every song is a gem. Puzzles me to death that one..Smile 

Yes, I was thinking about including "Last Days of the Century" but I didn't really know how far I could push the point.

I consider "The Road to Moscow" an acoustic precursor to "The Gates of Delerium".
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of uncertain seas
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