Then the album suddenly seems to switch up in "Accident and Emergency" which finds joy in even the worst of times. Then the upbeat tone is broken with "The Bluebell" and "Bluebells," a two-song ballad about how a lost love can make you feel. This is then followed by the mysterious song "Magpie." The entire album is rich in lyrics, but the tone changes often. But by the time you get to "Finale," an instrumental, you'll find it hard not to have picked some favorite tracks.
I really enjoyed the album and decided to seek out more of Patrick Wolf's music. As it turned out, The Magic Position was his third of so far six albums, and in addition, he had released four EP albums and many singles in many forms (vinyl, CD, digital download), many of the singles and all of the EPs containing songs not on the albums. To keep this blog short, I shall only talk about the albums, though I've managed to obtain the entire discography.
The order in which I listened to the albums were largely based on the order I got them in: The Magic Position, The Bachelor, Wind in the Wires, Lycanthropy, Sundark and Riverlight, and Lupercalia. However, to now shift from my story to Patrick's, I'll look at them in chronological order.
The album kicks up again with the highly energetic "Tristan," based on "Tristram of Lyonesse." It seems to be largely about being your own hero in the face of overwhelming odds, even including the one time in his entire discography that he uses profanity: "I am fucked, and I am fucking too." Finally, "Land's End" begins rather merrily, but ends in almost a dirge.
2007 brought Patrick's biggest hit in The Magic Position, when he confirmed that his sexuality was on the queer shade, saying, "I don’t know whether I’m destined to live my life with a horse, a woman or a man. It makes life easier." He later said that his sexuality was "liberal," and that "I guess you would call me bisexual."
"Hard Times" clearly speaks about a world at war, even referencing "two towers." While it's not the only Wolf song to focus on contemporary issues, it is the first to clearly identify them. The song "Oblivion" is certainly about young people going to war.
"Thesus" compares the myth of Thesus to being a music star. The song, "The Bachelor" is based on the traditional song "Poor Little Turtledove," and is obviously about being alone. The song takes a queer twist with "So I went up to this mountain/to give my horn a blow/All the boys in the valley said/Yonder comes my beau." (The original song used the line "And every girl in the valley said.")
As such, Lupercalia brings a welcome levity for Patrick after The Bachelor, "The City" bold with the message, "won't let the city destroy our love." "House" finds Patrick appreciating the beauty of home, while "Bermondsey Street" tells of "two kisses sweet on Bermondsey Street," the lyrics identifying a heterosexual couple and a homosexual couple, further saying, "Love knows no boundaries/sees beyond sexualities." The album is very uplifting.
As the world awaits where Patrick Wolf goes next, I'm very glad to have discovered his music. While I might not know exactly why he wrote each track as he did, his music resonates with me very much. What I enjoy most about him is that he doesn't write or record his music to top the charts or be a huge star. Patrick sings because this is how he expresses himself and people respond to it.