30 Day Song Challenge, Day 11

Day 11: A Song From Your Favourite Band

A Silver Mt. Zion might be my favourite band these days. I use A Silver Mt. Zion as an umbrella term, because their name has changed for every album but one. The emphasis has shifted on each release, and this has inevitably alienated some portions of their audience. Not me though.

Anyway, here’s a song which struck a particular nerve in me. The band’s name at the time expanded to the marginally lengthier The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band. It’s a slooooow and plaintive song – would you believe? It’s called Could’ve Moved Mountains, and like practically all Silver Mt. Zion songs it exists somewhere between harrowing despair and small gleaming speck of hope. Lyrically this band really do it for me. Could’ve Moved Mountains happens to feature vocalist Efrim Menuck barely singing two parallel sets of lyrics, one panned left, the other right.

This is the official lyric sheet from the official lyric depository. Notice how one voice is marginally more despondent than the other.

The other major component of the song is the unbelievable interplay between the strings and the tremolo-pedal guitar. Truly one of their finest moments.

There’s a chance you don’t have the ear for this kind of thing, but the sound for me really evokes a potent mood, one of quiet sadness. Not of hopelessness, but of shared struggles, hard times behind us and ahead – but also the promise of just enough “hope and joy” if we look for it and let it in. This is a feeling no other band evokes in me.


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