Sunday, 24 February 2013

Time Will Tell

As heard on Lord Litter's Magic Music Box (April 2011)

Time Will Tell is another song largely inspired by a painting. There was a temporary exhibition at Oldham Art Gallery in 1988, one painting was 'Truth Emerging From The Well'. She is of course naked - as truth should be, but she is bent on retribution against those that cast her down, She is clutching a birch branch to beat her tormentors and has a very crazed and menacing expression. It is an exceptionally powerful (if ridiculous) image.

Another element in the lyric is the Parliamentary 100 Years Rule; allowing some documents to be published eventually, but long after those involved are no longer concerned with their reputations.

Time Will Tell was a regular live piece from May 1990 (when it was written). It was re-recorded in October 2010. The faint feedback-like howl in the chorus is three notes picked with an awful lot of sustain and a touch on the tremolo bar.

The break? The song is about the passage of time. GMT may be measured from London, but Scotland owns the rights to New Year; Hence the Caledonian tinge.  

Going back to the painting, I can't remember the artist and it does not seem to have an internet presence. Oldham Art Gallery (which has moved to a new building since then & no current staff have been there that long) tried, but they do not have a catalogue for the exhibition. Here is one they did find - 

Edouard Debant Ponsan, Truth Leaving The Well (1898). She is only holding up a mirror - exposing the truth, but without any means of punishment - and I suspect that Religeon and Armed Force will have no problem shoving her back down again. That was not going to happen with 'my' Truth, which looked a lot more like this one that started doing the re-blogging rounds on Tumblr in June 2012. I saw it at 

Jean-Leon Gerome - Truth Rising From The Well (1895). She is Very Cross, the whip will sting and it will not be easy to get her back down again. Dark Classics pointed me at this one painted a year earlier - same subject, same bucket, same model, different approach. Truth paintings were a whole sub-genre and this model does look very familiar, I suspect the one in Oldham may well have been by the same artist.

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