St. Stephen's Cross

She's a helluva chef. Interpretation, praise, criticism ...

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TaliaMuse
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Postby TaliaMuse » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:10 am

Like a warning of what could be lost
If this were the last... what would these eyes see, how could I carry on, if I were that kind of grateful, what would I try to say?


I wonder, what other connections do you all hear between songs?

Lol - I didn't spend too long in the research dept., no worries. I am used to looking up translations as a vocal major, and I wouldn't really think of Wikipedia as a reliable enough source for research :wink: Just a confirmation that my thinking might be in the right direction? Is there a right direction?

I just was trying to figure out that Latin (again - assuming its Latin) and figured I would share and see if anyone else had some insights :-)

As for asking Vienna in her next Q&A - does she do those? hahaha I went on myspace for the first time in about 3 years and replied to her blog post about St. Stephen's Cross to ask, but not sure whether or not to expect a response... *grins* As for asking Vienna herself at a Q&A, I just discovered that she is performing in the midwest in a town an hour from me 3 days after I move home!!! I know $50 is worth it, the question is whether I actually have $50 to spend.... I don't think I can really miss it, and my guess is that everyone here would agree!!! Maybe I can ask her there.....
~*Music is the vernacular of the human soul*~

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Postby roofboy179 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:28 am

TaliaMuse wrote:As for asking Vienna in her next Q&A - does she do those? hahaha I went on myspace for the first time in about 3 years and replied to her blog post about St. Stephen's Cross to ask, but not sure whether or not to expect a response... *grins* As for asking Vienna herself at a Q&A, I just discovered that she is performing in the midwest in a town an hour from me 3 days after I move home!!! I know $50 is worth it, the question is whether I actually have $50 to spend.... I don't think I can really miss it, and my guess is that everyone here would agree!!! Maybe I can ask her there.....


She does Q&As here on the forum when she isnt on tour, usually, or when she has a month ahead of her with a small amount of plans, I think. She didn't do one in 2008, for a reason I don't know. But hopefully she will do one soon, as I'm itching to ask a few questions...

They're the "Stickies" at the top of the Cafe section of the forum. There's some pretty interesting stuff there, definitely worth a sit down with a cup of tea one night.

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Postby Saekaeru » Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:42 pm

Vienna said the following about St. Stephens Cross during a concert I attended (in the Netherlands -> Europe). It doesn't really explain the story behind the song but it explains where the inspiration for it came from (I probably made some errors cause my recording sucks and I can't make out everything).

This next song is the closing song on the new album, Inland Territory. And it was written while waiting for a train in New York. And I was thinking about other trains that I had taken ... [something I can't make out]. And I grew up in California which is a relatively new part of the United States, and the whole of the United States is of course younger in terms of its history than Europe. Whenever I travel here to these countries I think a lot about how much has happened on the same piece of land. How many buildings have been built and how many people have lived and died and had stories of their own. So that's kind of how this last song was written, called St. Stephen's Cross.

So while reading this I get the feeling that two lovers find each other in the exact same place where the shadow of a Cathedral, built many years later, is cast (does that make sense?).
I think that will always be my interpretation of the song.

TaliaMuse
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Postby TaliaMuse » Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:50 pm

roofboy179 wrote:definitely worth a sit down with a cup of tea one night.


I would agree! I spent a couple of hours there and, wow! Its wonderful to read the insights and conversational stuff in there. Delicious. It seems there is quite a bit of exploring to do here... I'll just have to do it gradually. Thanks for telling me about the Q&A.

Saekaeru - thanks for the quote about St. Stephen's Cross from the concert - That addition to all of those perspectives just makes the whole song swirl even more. I like your thoughts, too. It is astounding to think about the long history of a place.

Even though this land has less history that is written down, I love to think about the people who were here before (which was still not as long ago as there were people in Europe and Asia, I'm guessing)... But especially walking through the woods, or making time and effort to live a more "Green" lifestyle... there is so much we take for granted that couldn't be taken for granted, long, long ago.
~*Music is the vernacular of the human soul*~

Scot
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Postby Scot » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:26 am

whr wrote:Sometimes it is easier than expected. Just listen. :)


Wow- that's great! I am missing a lot of the stories behind the songs for
the new album (since I haven't been about to catch any shows, or hear many recordings yet), so just added this one.

If anyone has any more -I'm listening!:)

scot
My little attempt at a Vienna Teng WWW page (Set lists, song info., and more...)

Digital
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Postby Digital » Mon May 04, 2009 5:32 pm

Scott, I've been rather busy, but I'll see about getting to your website, seeing what you have, and trying to add from what I've seen/heard/know.

terraphim86
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Postby terraphim86 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:59 pm

I must say, every time I hear this song, it moves me more and more. I didn't pay much attention to it at first (although I'm not sure why), but now I'm certain it's my favorite song on the album. There's so much emotion abd romanticism. The last few lyrics utterly kill me, and the slightly off-key piano is so fascinating.

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Postby aaparallel » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:14 pm

In the context of the entire album, I thought "St. Stephen's Cross" sort of answers the question that is implied in all the other songs: Why and how should we live our lives to the fullest. From contemplating our "last snowfalls" to thinking about the historical events that brought us to our current position to realizing possible events in the future that could end everything. . . The last song is really the only upbeat, live-in-the-moment song that has a conclusion.

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Postby roofboy179 » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:53 am

terraphim86 wrote: slightly off-key piano


How do you mean off-key piano?

When i listen to the song, i hear the beginning of the song in the key of B, and then it switches to the key of A around 18 seconds in. Is that what you mean, or no? Because i may be hearing it wrong.

terraphim86
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Postby terraphim86 » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:22 am

Okay, not off-key, precisely. Vienna would never do that. But the chord progression is very unconventional in its minor sound. Especially when the chorus starts towards the end.

I love this song so much. It's become part of my meditation routine.

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Postby roofboy179 » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:04 pm

terraphim86 wrote:Okay, not off-key, precisely. Vienna would never do that. But the chord progression is very unconventional in its minor sound. Especially when the chorus starts towards the end.

I love this song so much. It's become part of my meditation routine.


Im not so sure ;) She's purposely singing off-key in Grandmother Song to give it that whole romp n' stop feel.

But I agree, this song is truly amazing, and i love the guitar in the end. Kaki King is actually one of my heros. :3

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Postby roofboy179 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:18 am

Was informed by a friend of mine on DeviantArt that the Latin in this song is;

"Si autem quod non videmus speramus..."


Which, apparently translates to "If however we do not see hope." I think Vienna herself told him this, though I'm not sure. But there you guys go. :wink:

Kalenabear
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Postby Kalenabear » Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:42 pm

roofboy179 wrote:Was informed by a friend of mine on DeviantArt that the Latin in this song is;

"Si autem quod non videmus speramus..."


Which, apparently translates to "If however we do not see hope." I think Vienna herself told him this, though I'm not sure. But there you guys go. :wink:


Whoa, thanks for the translation! :) Extra points to your friend, heh! I've been scratching my head about the Latin and actually flipped through the album inset/booklet yesterday to see if it was there. Just listened to the song again (and 5x more) to catch it all sung out. Awesome. Though, it's kind of meloncholy, no? Vienna's songs are so layered that their meanings cross multiple contexts-- they're not only explicit or literal. ("It's not about the Berlin Wall!") So what exactly does this verse refer to?

EDIT: I wonder if Vienna drew anything from the Latin Vulgate's Romans 8:25 - "si autem quod non videmus speramus per patientiam expectamus" which is "But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it." Thanks, Google.

Now, for my inner blonde moment: Right after reading "speramus", for the shortest of seconds, I thought "Oh hey, it's the same as 'Saramouche' from Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody!" -_-'' Ha hah...ahem...

terraphim86
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Postby terraphim86 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:34 pm

Oh, that's brilliant. As a lapsed Latin student, I was racking my brain to pick out those words. Thank you!

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Postby aaparallel » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:09 pm

Kalenabear wrote:
roofboy179 wrote:Was informed by a friend of mine on DeviantArt that the Latin in this song is;

"Si autem quod non videmus speramus..."


Which, apparently translates to "If however we do not see hope." I think Vienna herself told him this, though I'm not sure. But there you guys go. :wink:


Whoa, thanks for the translation! :) Extra points to your friend, heh! I've been scratching my head about the Latin and actually flipped through the album inset/booklet yesterday to see if it was there. Just listened to the song again (and 5x more) to catch it all sung out. Awesome. Though, it's kind of meloncholy, no? Vienna's songs are so layered that their meanings cross multiple contexts-- they're not only explicit or literal. ("It's not about the Berlin Wall!") So what exactly does this verse refer to?

EDIT: I wonder if Vienna drew anything from the Latin Vulgate's Romans 8:25 - "si autem quod non videmus speramus per patientiam expectamus" which is "But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it." Thanks, Google.

Now, for my inner blonde moment: Right after reading "speramus", for the shortest of seconds, I thought "Oh hey, it's the same as 'Saramouche' from Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody!" -_-'' Ha hah...ahem...


Just listened to the song to catch the latin phrase. It's so beautifully mixed in there. Gahhhh. I always thought that in relationship to the rest of the album, which raises a lot of questions and illustrates pretty depressing scenarios, St. Stephen's Cross is the hopeful conclusion, a decision to be grateful and to not waste any moment.
"Drowning my pain in lemonade. . . Singing along to 'feelin' alright'"


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