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Thread: Essay On Paganism and The Fixx

  1. #1
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    Post Essay On Paganism and The Fixx

    This essay was posted here before but the web page that contained it has been taken down since, but I did save the page to disk way back and so we can read it again, I did not write this essay and I am not an expert in any way on it Pagan beliefs, but, IMO this is one of the most interesting, and well written, articles Ive ever run across relating to the band.


    The White Rose Emporium On The Fixx

    I started this page with the intention of bringing to your attention the themes in the music of The Fixx which I've found to be pertinant to Pagans and those with similar points of view. I had to qualify my theories by saying that I'd never been able to get a definitive answer about whether those themes were coming from a Pagan point-of-view or something similar. But The Fixx went on an intensive tour in 1998, promoting their new album Elemental, and I was lucky enough to not only see them live three times in a month, but to spend some real quality time with these talented musicians, including lead singer and primary lyricist, Cy Curnin. And, lucky me, the last time I visited with them, I finally had a chance to ask Cy what his point of view was on matters religious and spiritual, and had him clarify for me some of the themes in the songs The Fixx have put out in the last 15+ years.
    For those who may be unfamiliar with The Fixx (or may have forgotten that you were familiar with them), you may recall the song "One Thing Leads to Another" from back in the 80's. If you had MTV back then, you might recall a video with blond-haired singer Cy Curnin rushing through bare tunnels and some images of barking Dobermans. While this has cemented the band in video music history, I don't think either is the best illustration of The Fixx, their music or their videos. But that was their biggest and best remembered hit up to this point.

    Better, for our purposes here at least, to remember a later single (and a personal favorite) called "Secret Separation". The lyrics go like this:

    We are passengers in time
    Lost in motion, locked together
    Day and night, by trick of light
    But I must take another journey
    We must meet with other names

    You touched my heart so deeply
    You rescued me now free me
    Don't watch me cry just see me go
    I'll take away the strongest feelings
    You will ever know

    There will be no more isolation
    In our secret separation
    You touched my heart so deeply, you rescued me
    Now free me

    We are passengers in time
    Lost in motion, locked together
    Day and night, by trick of light
    But I must take another journey
    We must meet with other names

    If you hold me you will hurt me
    Be brave
    There will be no more isolation
    In our secret separation
    You touched my heart so deeply, you rescued me
    Now free me

    We are matching spark and flame
    Caught in endless repetition
    Life for life we'll be the same
    I must leave before you burn me
    I am the stranger who deserts you
    Only to love you
    In another life

    There will be no more isolation
    In our secret separation
    You touched my heart so deeply, you rescued me
    Now free me

    I'll bear one precious scar that only you will know

    Mind you, that while this particular set of lyrics was not written by the band members themselves, as most of the rest of their lyrics are (it was written by Jeanette Obstoj, a talented lyricist and poet), it was selected by them to record and to use as one of the first singles on a major album release. And when concepts of reincarnation and real soulmates make it into the Top 40, it's a triumph for all of us. I sometimes think that beyond just being great lyrics, the best thing about having these themes in the music is that it brings these ideas to people who might otherwise never know of them. If you're not so familiar with the concept of reincarnation and all that that would mean, then "Secret Separation" takes that and makes it into an incredibly romantic song. And only if you really start to pay attention to the lyrics does it beg further examination. If the concept intrigues you, why not investigate it further? Thus goes one of the best routes of self-discovery that many a Pagan has taken.

    Recently, in a discussion among a number of loyal Fixx fans, we brooched the very topic that I had been so interested in having Cy answer for me: what were the religious/spiritual beliefs that set the stage for such tremendously spiritual music? I was extremely surprised to discover that a number of Christians were seeing Christian themes and values in the very same lyrics that I was certain came from a nature-oriented view, if not a true Pagan/pagan one. One fellow even said that he thought the "precious scar" was a circumcision scar, by which Christians would be able to recognize each other. This really drove me to want to get an official answer from Cy as to whether what I was seeing in the lyrics was really there. His answer: a slightly qualified, slightly ambiguous yes!

    Indeed, the fellow with the idea about the circumcision scar was a good bit off. According to Cy, the "precious scar", isn't a physical scar at all, but rather a scar of the heart, of the emotions, caused when those two soulmates are torn apart from each other. A scar that truly only the two of them would know in each other. Thus it was confirmed that "Secret Separation" is truly the immensely romantic and spiritual song that I believed it to be, made all the more poignant to me by seeing the man who's sung those lyrics for 12 years talk about it, hands clasped together over his chest to demonstrate the physical place that is the focus of both pain and joy.

    But we can't be entirely esoteric creatures, can we? What about the infamous Pagan zest for life? The Fixx has a statement on that as well:

    Sense the Adventure:

    Are you locked in the paranoia
    You should enjoy the sense of doubt
    Breaking down the walls of institution
    I'm going to let my paganism out

    A god of light
    Baron of evil
    Supposed to show me hallowed ground
    But these our monsters we created
    To civilize our primal shouts

    Sense the adventure
    Let those feelings out
    Sense the adventure
    Let the pagan out

    Not just because you have your answers
    It should not mean my views are seen in vain
    An earthly bid for resurrection
    Will never soothe the human pain

    Sense the adventure
    Let those feelings out
    Sense the adventure
    Let the pagan out

    No war of rights to battle angels
    Will ever justify these ends
    Please recognize yourself in others
    A generation makes amends

    Are you locked out in no direction
    You could escape to feed the mind
    To an untrodden field of vision
    Sensitivity will find

    Sense the adventure
    Let those feelings out
    Sense the adventure
    Let the pagan out

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement of so-called "civilized" or "organized" religion, is it? How many of us have known the need to voice that "primal shout"? And how many of us knew the dominant faiths of this modern world were not for us because they would condemn us for doing so? The only reason I won't label Cy a Pagan/pagan is because he does indeed seem to have a dislike for iconography and anthropomorphizing, particularly when it seems to him to have detracted from the more basic (dare I say Elemental?) aspects of spirituality. I get the feeling that he's more inclined to see Mother Ocean than Mother Goddess. His description of his beliefs when I asked him: "more organic". We'd already had a conversation about our mutual love of the beach, so I knew he wasn't talking about gardening (though the conversation did drift there pretty quickly). I was again struck by the titling of the new album, thinking to myself what better description for what he was talking about than "elemental". Core, basic, simple, stripped of the trappings of ritual and iconography. Reverence for the spirit of the planet which is our home and our ultimate Mother, an eye toward the power and commonalities which link us all together living on this Earth, an ability to see the miracle in humanity and the natural world around us: themes which he has expressed in dozens of songs over the years. Here was a man I could happily call a brother-in-faith.
    Last edited by Octopulse; 08-12-2003 at 09:09 AM.

  2. #2
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    Pt. 2....

    Now, despite having a strong confirmation that I was indeed interpreting his message correctly, I have to say that, regardless of the precise personal beliefs of the band, we have in the music a statement that is clearly in line what what so many Pagans believe for ourselves and champion in our lives.

    Among the other themes the band has addressed in their music: the environment, the danger of the "modern" world to our continued existence and myriad statements on the interaction between man and nature and man and his world.

    If you have never before listened to The Fixx, you may want to do so. (Trust me, you do!) Stop by your local music store and pick up the band's latest album, Elemental. Pay particular attention to "Ocean Blue". Here are the lyrics for you:

    I like to hear the waves crash against the shore
    It's the only place that I feel better
    I watch them roll for hours they take me far away
    That's where I feel secure, it's where I want to stay.

    Ocean blue, senses and soul renew
    Ocean blue, forgive all the wrong I do.

    Life goes by so fast it's never really ours
    A year, a week, a day, minutes into hours
    Mother of creation temple of the womb
    Take me in your waters darling, I'm coming home.

    Ocean blue, senses and soul renew
    Ocean blue, forgive all the wrong I do.

    I know your force has power over the land
    I feel it wash away right where I stand
    Rolling in all virtue, power and in command
    Take me in your waters darling, I'm coming home.

    Ocean blue, I know I'm made of you
    Ocean blue, forgive me all the wrong I do.

    I'll tell you that this song has really hit me like no other that I can remember. Here I was in the midst of moving to be close to my Mother sea, and I hear this spectacular ode to precisely the same qualities of Her and feelings about Her that are the root and core of the need to be by Her. This has really pressed me onward in my need to know more about the ocean person in The Fixx's lead singer and primary lyricist Cy Curnin. Spurred on by this need, and knowing I had a good chance to meet them again soon, I took advantage of my last few days at the shore prior to my impending move, and collected some seashells to give to him, knowing that with touring schedules being what they are, that he'd be unlikely to have the leisure to spend lengthy amounts time at our beloved ocean in the near future, and that he might appreciate having some touchstone to remind him of the serenity and power of that place. Of course, if you guessed, you'd have been right that I didn't have to give him a word of explanation for him to know that was precisely what I'd intended them to be. While it turns out that he'll have a little more time by the sea than I'd expected (they even did a few dates in Hawaii in July...), he both understood and appreciated the deep meaning of the simple gift.

    When I look back at this experience, I've got a lot of memories which I will always hold dear to my heart, starting with the knowlege that sometimes beachy souls can really talk to each other without words (or with the most beautiful of words) and ending with the deep pleasure of knowing that the beautiful, meaningful lyrics of Cy Curnin come from a spiritual point of view that I can welcome with open arms and a glad heart. In fact, he says, they come "from the edge of Alpha", that space where the soul floats free and sees all that there is to see. You don't have to look hard to see that. It makes me glad.

    <woah!!>

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Cool

    Great article!

  5. #5
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    awh- you're searchin too deep!

    primal shout ='s 12 beers+ courage to speak your mind!

    and dont F*cK w/ mother nature..... respect her

    that's all....... no more.....

    PS i ve only had 4 beers!

  6. #6
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    12 beers+ courage to speak your mind! = someone hungover who wishes they had shut up the night before

    a couple years back you promised me a beer D5, with any luck we'll get to it soon, no Upstate New York gigs in 6 years, Im beginning to think the band has ex-wives or unpaid roomservice bills or somethin' in these parts

    thanks for the Parkay commercial visual....

    <its not nice to fool Mother Nature.... as she lifts her arms commandingly.... Crash!! thunder and lightning!!>

  7. #7
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    I always think of that 'scar' as a 'lost 'child. The ultimate product of a human relationship. A precious scar. Sad but real.

  8. #8
    fishnoises Guest
    Wow, I hadn't read that essay before. I have been wondering about the Cy's beliefs in these matters. I do believe he has a problem with organized religion (as do many Christians including myself), but I also think he respects the many differents faiths that so many of us have. I still am unsure as to whether he really know what he believes. Nothing in his lyrics tells me, "This is what I think. This is what I know." It seems that he is always trying to escape where he is at. Even "Happy Landings" is a song about going far away..."Take me so, take me so...so far away" Now I realize these are just songs he wrote,and the band made wonderful music to go with it. But these lyrics mean a lot to us. Pagans and Christians alike can read into them, and come away feeling like we understand and relate to exactly what he is saying. I am very curious to hear the new lyrics in the forthcoming album. I am wondering if, with his new baby, and new marriage, that there might be a different tone. Will there be lyrics about finally being happy where you are. You are who you are no matter where you go, or who you meet. Will there still be the subtle turmoil? Can an artist ever be free of turmoil? Has there ever been a writer who wrote in a totally peaceful and contented state of mind? (Anyone worth reading or listening to that is.) I've always been a Smiths and Morrissey fan, and if anyone knows how to write songs about anguish and turmoil it is Morrissey. But I think that even Morrissey is finally content with himself, and had forgotten or forgiven what ever he had to deal with in the past. But Cy, I wonder....
    It's too hard to write about this...this requires much discussion. Just thought I'd give it a go.
    Caroline

  9. #9
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    The one time I saw the Fixx live (or as I posted before, 1/2 of the Fixx!), Cy said, "I only write when I'm pissed off!"

  10. #10
    fishnoises Guest

    Ah ha that is funny Rain!!!

    I wonder if he meant "pissed" in the American sense as in really, really mad. Or in the British sense of being really, really drunk???????

  11. #11
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    UK speak
    Pissed = Drunk
    Pissed Off - Really annoyed about something

    Hope that helps you get an insight.....
    Stuart at the Welsh Connection

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