Go Long, Final Go

Much remains to write about from my trip, my new vocational experiences as vocalist and researcher, and life in general, but until I may finally settle down (very possibly tomorrow, as I will fly home to Seattle for a week) I will share something personal that I have done since being back.

A year or so ago, a friend showed me this song by Joanna Newsom. It was the first thing I ever heard her do. Sometime shortly after, I fell in love with her and covered her myself on my little 2 track. It was suggested it was rather nice, and that I record it professionally. Here is the rough track from Dec 17, 2011. This song will never be mixed, or mastered. I will not cover her again, I’m finished now. But I couldn’t let her go without one last hoorah.

The following is my cover of one of the saddest and heartfelt songs I have ever heard. For the other two of hers that never fail to leave me completely wrecked and in awe, please go here and here. I hope you enjoy it.

Go Long (Vocal and Piano by Diana Hereld, originally recorded by Joanna Newsom)


Last night, again,
you were in my dreams
several expendable limbs were at stake
you were a prince, spinning rims
all sentiments indian-given
and half-baked
I was brought
in on a palanquin
made of the many bodies
of beautiful women
brought to this place to be examined,
swaying on an elephant:
a princess of india

We both want the very same thing.
We are praying
I am the one to save you
But you don’t even own,
your own violence
Run away from home-
your beard is still blue
with the loneliness of you mighty men,
with your jaws, and fists, and guitars
and pens, and your sugarlip,
but I’ve never been to the firepits with you mighty men

Who made you this way?
Who made you this way?
Who is going to bear your beautiful children?
Do you think you can just stop,
when you’re ready for a change?
Who will take care of you
when you’re old and dying?

You burn in the Mekong,
to prove your worth,
Go Long! Go Long!
Right over the edge of the earth!
You have been wronged,
tore up since birth.
You have done harm.
Others have done worse.

Will you tuck your shirt?
Will you leave it loose?
You are badly hurt.
You’re a silly goose.

You are caked in mud,
and in blood, and worse.
Chew your bitter cud,
Grope your little nurse.

Do you know why
my ankles are bound in gauze
(sickly dressage:
a princess of kentucky)?
In the middle of the woods
(which were the probable cause),
we danced in the lodge
like two panting monkeys.

I will give you a call, for one last hurrah.
If this tale is tall, forgive my scrambling.
But you keep palming along the wall,
moving at a blind crawl,
but always rambling.

Wolf-spider, crouch in your funnel nest,
If I knew you, once,
now I know you less,
In the sinking sand,
where we’ve come to rest,
have I had a hand in your loneliness?

When you leave me alone
in this old palace of yours,
it starts to get to me. I take to walking,
What a woman does is open doors.
And it is not a question of locking
or unlocking.

Well, I have never seen
such a terrible room-
gilded with the gold teeth
of the women who loved you!
Now, though I die,
Magpie, this I bequeath:
by any other name
a jay is still blue

with the loneliness
of you mighty men,
with your mighty kiss
that might never end,
while, so far away,
in the seat of the west,
burns the fount
of the heat
of that loneliness.

There’s a man
who only will speak in code,
backing slowly, slowly down the road.
May he master everything
that such men may know
about loving, and then letting go.

4 thoughts on “Go Long, Final Go

  1. Diana you have an amazing voice. I know this isn’t a career for you but God has really given you a gift, so I hope that you are able to make use of it in some way.

    I maybe biased but I don’t really know the original singer so it was your voice that stood out for me. The song itself, tunewise, was appropriate to your voice, although the lyrics didn’t really do it for me. But I can envision your voice being in my CD collection if you ever to record an album (not that I’m saying you should).

    It’s interesting that you have a talent for singing and music and your research interest is in music psychology. Certainly as a “singer” you can definitely offer a unique perspective possibly.

  2. Thank you for the kind words, Pravin. I have to remind myself that many people are unfamiliar with my background. I should get around to posting a CV, eventually. I have been singing in troupes, TV, etc. since age 3 and professionally for a few years now. Classical aria performance led me to London in the first place 🙂

    As far as whether it will or will not prove advantageous as a career, using my voice has been my livelihood since graduating (I teach private lessons and occasionally do weddings and studio work for other artists). Music psychology has indeed recently become a passion, and even obsession (and aid to that livelihood) but singing is what drew me to it in the first place. I will never *not* sing. I have twenty or some odd recordings at this point, and should I ever find the time (hah!) I will most certainly pursue it again. It is my first love. Thank you again!

  3. Exquisite interpretation of an intriguing (and a bit disturbing) lieder. Words like kiss and gold and blue and men and (especially, and strongly weighing on that list, due to positioning), “code” — not mention “master” — work like tiny plutonium ingots hid within a Christmas candy. They do their secret (secreted?) businesses inside one, long after one has come away from the party. And in any case, there was no party — and had there been, one would not have attended, had there existed the option of listening to this again, instead.

    • Tom, what an honor. Thank you. I’m so thrilled you can appreciate the way in which she crafts her thoughts to prose. I’m afraid I falter in quite how to respond to such an poignant analysis, but you’re very kind. Thank you indeed.

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