St. Stephen's Cross

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Aschefeder
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St. Stephen's Cross

Postby Aschefeder » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:20 pm

I was wondering what this song is about? Of course, two people losing and finding each other again - I'm more interested in that "wall" that "came down" and in that "St. Stephen's Cross". Any suggestions?

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Postby roofboy179 » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:37 pm

Well, it could be a wonderful metaphor.

Like, a wall between two people. Like in Romeo and Juliet. The wall is the feud between the Capulet and Montague. But thats just me trying to be deep ;]

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Postby tanthalas » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:57 am

Are you asking about the historical significance or the symbolic one?

If you're asking about the former, I think it's about the Berlin Wall.

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Postby roofboy179 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:50 am

tanthalas wrote:If you're asking about the former, I think it's about the Berlin Wall.


I figured that as well. But did Austria have historical significance relating to the Berlin Wall?

Im only a Freshman, Worl History is next year :wink:

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Postby tanthalas » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:17 am

According to http://www.vienna-life.com/info/info.php

That said, Vienna has seen some major changes over the last decade. For fifty years, Vienna was a somewhat sleepy outpost on the outskirts of the economic West. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Vienna became a Central European city again. A second boost came in 1995 when Austria joined the EU.

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Postby roofboy179 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:03 pm

tanthalas wrote:According to http://www.vienna-life.com/info/info.php


Thanks for the link :wink:

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Postby Aschefeder » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:54 pm

roofboy179 wrote:
tanthalas wrote:If you're asking about the former, I think it's about the Berlin Wall.


I figured that as well. But did Austria have historical significance relating to the Berlin Wall?

Im only a Freshman, Worl History is next year :wink:

Why Austria? Because of Vienna's stage name? I doubt there are too many songs from her with any (direct) connection to Austria or the city Vienna at all, at least I've never really noticed anything like that.
Last edited by Aschefeder on Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tanthalas
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Postby tanthalas » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:16 pm

Aschefeder wrote:Why Austria? Because of Vienna's stage name? I doubt there are too many songs from her with any (direct) connection to Austria or the city Vienna at all, at least I never really noticed anything like that.


Vienna, Austria is the location of Stephansdom, otherwise known as St. Stephen's Cathedral.

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Postby Digital » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:45 am

At one of the Vivaldi shows, Vienna said this song was about being somewhere when something monumental, something larger than yourself, happens, inspired by a comment from a friend who wished to lived abroad. The imagery does seem to reflect the fall of the Berlin Wall, though it was apparently written in Brooklyn.

St. Stephen is more commonly associated with Hungary, where he was the first king. St. Stephen's Tower in Westminster, London, is more famously known for the great bell it contains, Big Ben.

Funny enough, I always think to the first World War when I hear the words St. Stephen's Cross. Must be the memories of the poem "In Flanders Fields," "between the crosses row on row." Nothing to do with St. Stephan, but the mind works in mysterious ways.

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Postby Dionesque » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:25 pm

Yepp, all the points about Berlin's Wall, Vienna and St. Stephen's Cathedral there are right. ;)
Later I can post the exact speach Vienna did introducing this song in Köln, she pointed the Berlin's Wall story in it.

Although, when I first heard this song, I couldn't helped myself but think of Budapest (Hungary). It's a city that I love, I traveled many, many times there, even lived there for half a year (I studied Hungarian for several years). One of 2 most famous chuches there is St. Stephen's basilica.
As Digital already pointed, St. Stephen was 1st king and actual founder of Hungary as a catholic country so he's most likely associated with Hungary, not with Austria.

All this doesn't change the fact that this song is one of my absolute favourites on the new album! <3

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Postby Digital » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:55 am

I wouldn't say it's my favorite on the album, but I do think it makes a great bookend for the album. It has a certain gravitas that always puts me in the same contemplative mood. I definitely think its a strong track on its own, probably one that will stand the test of time, and in ten years still have the same effect on me.

So while it's not necessarily my favorite, I still really, really like it.

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Postby Aschefeder » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:08 pm

Digital wrote:I wouldn't say it's my favorite on the album, but I do think it makes a great bookend for the album. It has a certain gravitas that always puts me in the same contemplative mood. I definitely think its a strong track on its own, probably one that will stand the test of time, and in ten years still have the same effect on me.

So while it's not necessarily my favorite, I still really, really like it.

I do especially like that last part of the song, referring to the lyrics and Vienna's singing:

[...]
she found him standing looking lost
in the shadow of St. Stephen's cross
and he closed his eyes and heard no sound
but her breathing warm against his mouth


There is only a slight instrumental background, her voice sounds echo-like, and then there is this last "boost" to the end. Beautiful. I do think this might be just one of those songs one needs to pay more attention to in order to understand how well crafted it is.

And even though I do not feel too much drawn by stories of love and friendship and whatsoever (in general, not relating to Vienna Teng in any special concern), I do still admire her for being able to craft such beautiful and unique songs and lyrics even if it might appear they were only about these omnipresent kind of topics.

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Postby Fred » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:11 am

Aschefeder wrote:
Digital wrote:I wouldn't say it's my favorite on the album, but I do think it makes a great bookend for the album. It has a certain gravitas that always puts me in the same contemplative mood. I definitely think its a strong track on its own, probably one that will stand the test of time, and in ten years still have the same effect on me.

So while it's not necessarily my favorite, I still really, really like it.

I do especially like that last part of the song, referring to the lyrics and Vienna's singing:

[...]
she found him standing looking lost
in the shadow of St. Stephen's cross
and he closed his eyes and heard no sound
but her breathing warm against his mouth


There is only a slight instrumental background, her voice sounds echo-like, and then there is this last "boost" to the end. Beautiful. I do think this might be just one of those songs one needs to pay more attention to in order to understand how well crafted it is.

And even though I do not feel too much drawn by stories of love and friendship and whatsoever (in general, not relating to Vienna Teng in any special concern), I do still admire her for being able to craft such beautiful and unique songs and lyrics even if it might appear they were only about these omnipresent kind of topics.


I don't remember where it was, but I read an interview where Vienna spoke of writing apparent love songs that also contained deeper layers of meaning. I don't know St. Stephen's Cross yet, but maybe it's one of those. A difficulty with finding "meaning" in her songs is that, as with good classical music, it's not only in the words, and therefore is hard to verbalize. (Try verbalizing the meaning of a Beethoven quartet.) I listen to a lot of folk (and have listened to a lot of classical), and with folk the music supports the words, for the most part. With Vienna, the words and music synergize, and more so as her music has matured. IMHO, all of it, of course. Just rambling.

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Postby Digital » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:47 am

It seems obvious at least that this song is about not only a relationship, but the outside events that are going on. Whether there is yet another layer of meaning - intentional or unintentional - is beyond me at the moment. Vienna always seems to have some other motivations that drive her in certain directions.

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Postby Ferrard Carson » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:37 pm

Well, the title itself seems to refer to the royal crown of Hungary, originally that of Stephen I of Hungry who was sainted by the Roman Catholic church in 1081. As stated before, St. Stephen himself organized and founded Hungary, and his crown and right hand are seen as symbols of nationalism and a great source of pride for the nation.

Combined with the Berlin wall reference, this song is probably set around the demolition of the wall in 1989 and the German unification of 1990. I see it, as Roofboy mentioned before, as a Romeo/Juliet sort of thing; West German boy has been in love with an East German girl... both of whom get overwhelmed by the sudden absence of oppression - him because he's no longer surrounded by armed guards, and her because she no longer has to conform to the DDR; through all the chaos and confusion and conflicting emotions, they find a peace in one another and, of course, symbolize the unification of West and East Germany into a brand new nation (hence the St. Stephen's Cross reference).

At least, that's what it looks like from my point of view.

~ Teddy


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