AUDIO
MICHAEL THE SWAN (Elemental Remix) 2024
GENERAL INFO The final track on Gary’s third full-length album, Beef Scarecrow, and the closing song in the live stage show of the same name. RECORDING VENUE & DATES Backing track: Walthamstow, East London, November 16 - December 6, 2005 Vocals, overdubs, mixing & mastering: May 24 - July 11, 2006 Elemental Remix: Poplar, East London, February 13-29, 2024 INSPIRATIONS Basically, Marc Bolan. Ride a White Swan, I suppose. And just about every other song he wrote. WHAT IT’S ABOUT An enthusiastic paean to a cherished cartoon swan (who may not even actually exist) WHAT IT’S REALLY ABOUT I was all about to leap in here going on about how it was a savage dissection of hero worship, especially when it came to religious figures. The implication that he can’t be seen or doesn’t really exist might be a reference to any number of deities, while the suggestion that he’s made of bread might be a reference to the Eucharist, and the revelation that he looks like a skull on a nest of mince suggests he might actually be working for the other team. When the choir sings “Hosanna in excelsis” at the end, we don’t know if they’re praising Jesus, Satan, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the mighty Marc Bolan himself, but the exhortations to “be our Daddy” and “replace our Mummy” conjure up images of a religious cult, where no idols shall be gazed upon but Michael. But then I realised it’s essentially a rewrite of Ballerina. Both songs were written near the beginning of their respective projects and both are about a heroic figure Gary admires. And, just like Ballerina’s really about me trying to copy Spandau Ballet, this one is probably just about me trying to copy Marc Bolan. Hence filling the lyrics with silly things about swans, beards and wizards while also screeching a lot and making weird shouty rock noises. And in turn, that means it’s about me. It’s me singing a song about the incredible, cool, cartoon swan I want to be (as opposed to the ugly duckling I may have been before) when I become this latest incarnation of Gary Le Strange, who will - as everyone knows - be worshipped by everyone as if he were an impossible God. And then I remember something else. At the time I wrote this, I was pretty sure this would be the last Gary Le Strange project. And if this was going to be the last track on his last album and the last song in his last show, then making it his “swan song” is really just a terribly weak pun. ALT VERSIONS I recorded a live version in 2007 for a BBC radio programme called ‘Play and Record’ but it never got broadcast, I’ve never heard it and I’ve no idea if it even exists any more. And then there’s the Elemental Remix. So called because I stripped it down to its various elements. See the top of the page. Just a little experiment, purely for fun… THOUGHTS & FEELINGS I like the drums and the bassline. I really like the main riff. I like the lyrics. It mainly holds together, I think. I was very chuffed with it at the time. People generally seemed to appreciate it, sometimes enthusiastically so. But the strings are rubbish. And now I’ve done this new remix? That’s the official version for me now.
LYRICS
MICHAEL THE SWAN (backing track) 2006
michael the swan 2005
OTHER STUFF
polaroid suitcase 2003 face academy 2004 loose lips Living TV 2003 ballerina 2002 chinese ghost 2003 toaster ITV2 2006 glamoronica 2005/2013
MICHAEL THE SWAN (2013 remaster) 2006/2013
TO BE CONTINUED...
MICHAEL THE SWAN
VIDEO
michael the swan London 2007 beef scarecrow 2006 cat video  2024
MICHAEL THE SWAN
video Michael London  2007 song Michael the Swan lyrics Michael the Swan pictures Beef Scarecrow notes Beef Scarecrow album Beef Scarecrow
MICHAEL THE SWAN (Elemental Remix) 2024
MICHAEL THE SWAN (backing track) 2006
MICHAEL THE SWAN (2013 remaster) 2006/2013
GENERAL INFO The final track on Gary’s third full-length album, Beef Scarecrow, and the closing song in the live stage show of the same name. RECORDING VENUE & DATES Backing track: Walthamstow, East London, November 16 - December 6, 2005 Vocals, overdubs, mixing & mastering: May 24 - July 11, 2006 Elemental Remix: Poplar, East London, February 13- 29, 2024 INSPIRATIONS Basically, Marc Bolan. Ride a White Swan, I suppose. And just about every other song he wrote. WHAT IT’S ABOUT An enthusiastic paean to a cherished cartoon swan (who may not even actually exist) WHAT IT’S REALLY ABOUT I was all about to leap in here going on about how it was a savage dissection of hero worship, especially when it came to religious figures. The implication that he can’t be seen or doesn’t really exist might be a reference to any number of deities, while the suggestion that he’s made of bread might be a reference to the Eucharist, and the revelation that he looks like a skull on a nest of mince suggests he might actually be working for the other team. When the choir sings “Hosanna in excelsis” at the end, we don’t know if they’re praising Jesus, Satan, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the mighty Marc Bolan himself, but the exhortations to “be our Daddy” and “replace our Mummy” conjure up images of a religious cult, where no idols shall be gazed upon but Michael. But then I realised it’s essentially a rewrite of Ballerina. Both songs were written near the beginning of their respective projects and both are about a heroic figure Gary admires. And, just like Ballerina’s really about me trying to copy Spandau Ballet, this one is probably just about me trying to copy Marc Bolan. Hence filling the lyrics with silly things about swans, beards and wizards while also screeching a lot and making weird shouty rock noises. And in turn, that means it’s about me. It’s me singing a song about the incredible, cool, cartoon swan I want to be (as opposed to the ugly duckling I may have been before) when I become this latest incarnation of Gary Le Strange, who will - as everyone knows - be worshipped by everyone as if he were an impossible God. And then I remember something else. At the time I wrote this, I was pretty sure this would be the last Gary Le Strange project. And if this was going to be the last track on his last album and the last song in his last show, then making it his “swan song” is really just a terribly weak pun. ALT VERSIONS I recorded a live version in 2007 for a BBC radio programme called ‘Play and Record’ but it never got broadcast, I’ve never heard it and I’ve no idea if it even exists any more. And then there’s the Elemental Remix. So called because I stripped it down to its various elements. See the top of the page. Just a little experiment, purely for fun… THOUGHTS & FEELINGS I like the drums and the bassline. I really like the main riff. I like the lyrics. It mainly holds together, I think. I was very chuffed with it at the time. People generally seemed to appreciate it, sometimes enthusiastically so. But the strings are rubbish. And now I’ve done this new remix? That’s the official version for me now.
TO BE CONTINUED...