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Halleluwah by Can

Germany’s Can were too ahead of their time, and too weird, to enjoy a hit record, but they were hugely influential; for instance, when Radiohead ditched guitar rock in favour of more experimental work, Can were one of the bands that they cited as an influence. Can synthesised a lot of influences; their albums were often derived from improvisations, and the members had backgrounds in classical (keyboardist Irwin Schmidt and bassist Holger Czukay studied with Stockhausen) and jazz, but were also inspired by The Beatles and The Velvet Underground.

damo-suzuki-2012

Can’s peak period is often reckoned to be the years when Japanese Damo Suzuki fronted the band, between 1970 and 1973, and ‘Halleluwah’ is drawn from this period. This is the edit – the original is an 18 minute behemoth that took up an entire side of 1971’s Tago Mago. The most noticeable feature is Jaki Liebezeit’s monster drum groove, which powers the song, while Damo Suzuki’s performance is typically charismatic and cryptic.  It’s difficult to believe ‘Halleluwah’ was recorded in 1971.

Did anybody see the snowman standing on winter road
With broken guitar in his hand, onion peeling sleepy eye?
It’s my recording station man but I record in his head
Knowing that too big mouth, oh, ice can flow away, one knows

Moon shadow coming down
While it’s all stormy, stormy night
Oh, the sound went all about
Spinning there, hold me tight

My powers strike me out
Did I slip this thing on their life?
And my god buying out
Oh, it gets me in star light

Searching for my black dope, yes I am
Searching for my black dope, yes I am
Searching for my black dope, yes I am
Searching for my black dope, yes I am

Did you see the day? Every fever may I search in
We can find now harder steam, change his kind, fly away

Oh, they’re all alone there, let me in
Oh, she asked me the first day for my name

So she wasn’t going where I was singing
Mushroom head, Oh yeah, Paperhouse
I wonder … what I should do
(It was a game after this)

Moon shadow coming down
While it’s all stormy, stormy night
Oh, the sound went all about
Spinning there, hold me tight

Shoot all the proof and lust and shout and it’s all, just you sow
Shoot all the proof and lust and shout and it’s all, just you sow
Shoot all the proof and lust and shout and it’s all, just you sow
Shoot all the proof and lust and shout and it’s all, just you sow

Searching for my black dope
Searching for my black dope, Hallelalalaluwah
Searching for my black dope, Hallelalalaluwah
Searching for my black dope, Hallelalalaluwah
Searching for my black dope, Hallelalalaluwah

Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah

And it goes like …
And she said

Got my fever, why do I go? Got my fever, why do I go?
Got your soles into your shoes
Got my fever, why do I go? Got my fever, why do I go?

Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah
Halalalalalalalalalalalaluwah

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