I really, really enjoyed UK artist La Roux’s self-titled debut album (’09) and “Tigerlily” quickly became one of my favorite songs, period. It’s 80’s-style synth-pop stylings and crashing beats are instantly captivating, and anything that harkens to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is a-OK in my book. The vocals and lyrics are also very effective, contributing to a very evocative song.

Fun fact: I had no idea what Ms. Roux looked like when I conceived of this red-headed protagonist.  So it was indeed an eerie surprise when I first glimpsed her visage on the album cover. The synth beats really brought to mind an array of blinking, pulsating color, visualized as squared colored panes. The creepy vocal interlude at the song’s bridge evoked the image of a dark antagonist, drained of color, humanity, and mercy.

The process of this piece was one of the most laborious and difficult of anything I’ve ever completed. It spans several years of ruminating, failed attempts, delays, and more ruminations before finally being completed. The composition – something I typically agonize over – eventually came together pretty well after many sketches and ideas. The project kept getting pushed aside as more urgent matters continually sprang up, until I summoned the constitution to finish ‘er off.

I’m pleased that the result so perfectly captures my vision, although if it had taken about 18 months less time, I would be more pleased! Such is the nature of art.

tigerlily

Lyrics

Well tonight out on the streets I’m gonna follow you
And tell you all about a scene that you would kill for
You’re gonna love what’s running right in front of you
But you won’t see it by the light of the sun
Come out tigerlily, you’re caressing me
I’ll take you up, I’ll turn you on, I’ll take your apathy
I wouldn’t lie to you blossom, won’t you let it go
I’m gonna give you what you want and don’t you know…that you…I know you better than this
I could be here when you call
I’ll make you top of the list
And in the crush of the dark
I’ll be your light in the mist
I can see you burning with desire for a kiss
Psychobabble all upon your lipsThey can sell it all they want but you cannot agree
I don’t like the taste of damn morality
You’ll find your bread and you butter where you fake it
And put your face in the gutter of a snake pit
But out communication is telepathy
What you give is what you get out of us naturally
And we can wait ’til the shadow grows long
And turn the page of the story that has long since found a homeI know you better than this
I could be here when you call
I’ll make you top of the list
And in the crush of the dark
I’ll be your light in the mist
I can see you burning with desire for a kiss
Psychobabble all upon your lipsHave you ever felt like you’re being followed?
Or watched the ones that held your stare?
Turned around to see who’s behind you to find there’s no one there
Lurking in the dark there’s someone who breathes you night and day
There’s a friend who wants so much more
And if they can’t have you, they’ll never let you walk awayAnd in the crush of the dark
I’ll be your light in the mist
I can see you burning with desire for a kiss
Psychobabble all upon your lips

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