"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cortez the Killer

This song, along with Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, and John Cale's Fear (is a Man's Best Friend), has got to be one of the most-covered tunes in rock history. I once watched Matthew Sweet try to play it, and fail miserably. (Still love ya, Matt!)

Anyway, my point here is not to discuss the multiple cover versions of Mr. Young's classic, but to examine the lyrics for evidence of Neil's knowledge (or lack of knowledge) about Mesoamerican History.

Well, specifically, this little couplet (I know it's not technically a couplet--lay off):

Hate was just a legend
And war was never known

What? Are you kidding me? Those Aztecs were some of the most warring motherfuckers history has ever known!

And then Neil starts talking about an unnamed "she"--who is she? Malinche? How did this get to be a love song?


Once, this dude looked at me, like five minutes after meeting me, and said "you have a Mayan face."

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