She Bangs The Drums



I can feel the earth begin to move
Hear my needle hit the groove
And spiral through another day
I hear my song begin to say
Kiss me where the sun don't shine
The past was yours but the future's mine
You're all out of time

I don't feel too steady on my feet
I feel hollow I feel weak
Passion fruit and holy bread
Fill my guts and ease my head
Through the early morning sun
I can see her, here she comes
She bangs the drums

Have you seen her have you heard
The way she plays there are no words
To describe the way I feel
How could it ever come to pass
She'll be the first she'll be the last
To describe the way I feel
The way I feel

Have you seen her have you heard
The way she plays there are no words
To describe the way I feel
How could it ever come to pass
She'll be the first she'll be the last
To describe the way I feel
The way I feel

Have you seen her have you heard
The way she plays there are no words
To describe the way I feel
How could it ever come to pass
She'll be the first she'll be the last
To describe the way I feel
The way I feel


Acoustic demo version (1987):

I can feel the earth begin to move
Hear my needle hit the groove
And spiral through another day
I hear my song begin to say
Kiss me where the sun don't shine
The past was yours but the future's mine
You're all out of time

I don't feel too steady on my feet
I feel hollow I feel weak
Passion fruit and holy bread
Fill my guts and ease my head
Through the early morning sun
I can see her, here she comes
She bangs the drums

She fills me up with all I need
She gives me hope, she gives me speed
Yeah
Oh yeah

I don't feel too steady on my feet
I feel hollow I feel weak
Passion fruit and holy bread
Fill my guts and ease my head
Through the early morning sun
I can see her, here she comes
She bangs the drums

She fills me up with all I need
She gives me hope, she gives me speed
Yeah
Yeah yeah


Lyrics by:
Squire / Brown

Music by:
Squire / Brown

Written:
1987

Personnel:
John Squire (guitar)
Ian Brown (vocals)
Gary Mounfield (bass)
Alan Wren (drums, piano, backing vocals)

Producer:
John Leckie

Engineer:
Paul Schroeder

Format:
Released July 1989:
She Bangs The Drums / She Bangs The Drums (Silvertone, ORE DJ 6, 7" promo)
She Bangs The Drums / Standing Here (Silvertone, ORE 6, 7")
She Bangs The Drums / Standing Here (Silvertone, ORE X 6, 7" with postcard, 3,000 pressed)
She Bangs The Drums / Mersey Paradise / Standing Here (Silvertone, ORE T 6, 12")
She Bangs The Drums / Mersey Paradise / Standing Here (Silvertone, ORE Z 6, 12" with print, 5,000 pressed)
She Bangs The Drums / Mersey Paradise / Standing Here / Simone (Silvertone, ORE CD 6, CD)
She Bangs The Drums / Mersey Paradise / Standing Here / Simone (Silvertone, ORE C 6, cassette)

Released 1989:
She Bangs The Drums / Standing Here (Silvertone, ALFA 09B3-46, Japanese 3" CD)
She Bangs The Drums / Mersey Paradise / Standing Here / Simone (Silvertone, ZD42970, German CD)

Released November 1989:
What The World Is Waiting For / Fool's Gold / She Bangs The Drums (12" mix) / Elephant Stone (12" mix) / Guernica / Going Down (Alfa-Silvertone, 18B2-103, Japanese CD)

Released February 1990:
Elephant Stone / Made Of Stone / She Bangs The Drums / Fools Gold (Silvertone, ZD43632, The UK Singles)

Released 1992:
She Bangs The Drums / Mersey Paradise / Standing Here / Simone (Silvertone, ZD42970, German CD from Maxi Collection)
She Bangs The Drums / Mersey Paradise / Standing Here / Simone (Alfa-Silvertone, ALCB-541, CD from Japanese Singles Collection boxset)

Released 2nd May 2005:
She Bangs The Drums / She Bangs The Drums (Elephant Remix) (Simply Vinyl S12, S12DJ194, 12")

UK chart details:
She Bangs The Drums entered the charts on 29th July 1989, spending 3 weeks in the charts and reaching a highest position of 36. It re-entered the charts on 31st March 1990 for 3 weeks, reaching a highest position of 34.

Also available on:
The Stone Roses (3.42)
The Complete Stone Roses (3.42)
The Stone Roses (10th Anniversary Edition) (3.52)
The Very Best Of The Stone Roses (3.52)

First live performance:
In late 1987.

Artwork details:
The She Bangs The Drums artwork is from 'Sugar' (1988), oil on canvas, 32" x 32"

Details:

Hear my needle hit the groove. As the record spins, the song begins. If you don't like what you're doing, you can always pick up your needle and move to another groove.

She Bangs The Drums, the Roses' first Top 40 hit, has to go down as one of the finest singles of its era, with b-sides Standing Here, Mersey Paradise and Simone on the CD and cassette versions. With roots as a reedy demo, She Bangs The Drums sizzles with energy. An ecstatic couplet ("Kiss me where the sun don't shine / The past was yours but the future's mine") stakes claim to the future, boldly marking a generational shift. The band released two different versions of the song: the debut album track (May 1989) and the single version (July 1989, also available on The Complete Stone Roses compilation). The album version is very distant and tinny, with Mani's bassline opening vanishing when the guitars drop in (this would only be rectified years later in the remastering process). The single version, the more 'pop' sounding of the two, omits the hi-hat intro and features a heavier guitar sound with more bite, more prominent bass and a superior backing vocal arrangement. Ian's vocal is much more to the fore, and there are also some phased sounds leading into the first chorus. The band cancelled two dates in May 1989 (26th: Milton Keynes Elektra, 27th: St Helens Citadel) to record b-sides for She Bangs The Drums at London's RAK Studios, at which point the song was most probably re-recorded. On the demos of She Bangs The Drums, Reni doesn't actually play the snare drum until the solo; the first part of the song is just the bass drum. Right up until the last take in the studio, Reni was adamant that he was not going to play the snare drum until the solo, but was persuaded by Leckie to play it from the beginning. She Bangs The Drums is the only track on the debut that features a piano, which Reni plays half way through the song. The band's songwriting partnership felt that the production of the debut LP did not fully capture the vigour of the group:

The middle section of She Bangs The Drums borrows from The Beach Boys' 'Here Today', Track 11 of their 'Pet Sounds' LP. In 1996, John Squire designed and donated a surfboard to Brian Wilson, in aid of Warchild (it later appeared on the debut 7" of Travis, 'U16 Girls' as well as their debut LP, 'Good Feeling'). This is Squire speaking about 'Warchild Surfboard' (vinyl lettering on polypropylene, 8' x 3'), on which is emblazoned some of John's favourite Beach Boys lyrics and song titles:

 

 

Top left: Pet Sounds (May 1966) by The Beach Boys. Brian Wilson quit touring with the band in order to focus his attention on writing and recording, and the resulting Pet Sounds marked a higher level of sophistication in the band's recording techniques. Wilson wove elaborate layers of vocal harmonies, coupled with sound effects and unconventional instruments such as bicycle bells, buzzing organs, harpsichords, flutes, dog whistles and the Tannerin. The Beatles have said that Pet Sounds was a major influence on their album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, completing a circle begun by The Beatles' influence on Wilson; Wilson describes The Beatles' 1965 LP Rubber Soul as being the catalyst for Pet Sounds.
Top right: The 1976 Beach Boys compilation album, '20 Golden Greats.'
Second row (left): 'Warchild Surfboard' (and close-up) by John Squire in 1996, which pays homage to The Beach Boys. John Squire is himself a keen surfer, getting his first taste for the sport while touring in Australia.
Second row (right): John Squire adopting the Brian Wilson look. With the help of his girlfriend Helen Plaumer (who also worked at Cosgrove Hall), Squire created matching red/white and black/white striped shirts for the five band members, based on the Beach Boys template.
Bottom: A John Squire artwork from 2007 is entitled 'Pe'ahi' (glass, 12" x 8"). Peahi is a place on the north shore of the island of Maui, in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It has lent its name to a big wave surfing break, also known as Jaws. On this theme, look out for a surfing shot in the U.S. Love Spreads video.

Compare the following sound clips.

She Bangs The Drums:   Here Today:

 

A euphoric first verse in which the author has an air of invincibility is followed by one in which he feels "hollow", "weak" and unsteady. That is, until the intake of "passion fruit and holy bread" fills and comforts him, and he subsequently witnesses a figure appearing through the early morning sun. "Holy bread" and "passion fruit" are the Body and Blood of Christ - the holy Bread of eternal life and the Chalice of everlasting salvation. Like Caravaggio's 'Supper at Emmaus' (1601), symbolism is being used here in the choice of fruit. The blemished apples and cracked figs on the table of this work by Caravaggio are symbolic of Man's original sin, while the pomegranate holds significance in religious art. Pomegranates figure in numerous religious works by artists such as Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, often in the hands of the Virgin Mary or the infant Jesus. The pomegranate, broken or bursting open, is a symbol of the fullness of Jesus' suffering and resurrection. See, for example, 'Madonna of the Pomegranate' (ca. 1487) by Botticelli. On She Bangs The Drums, is passion fruit symbolic of the Passion of Christ which would follow the Last Supper, at which the disciples ate 'holy bread' ? The passion fruit is so called because it is one of the many species of Passion Flower ('Passion Flower' being the literal English translation of the Latin genus name, Passiflora). The name was given by Catholic missionaries in South America, for whom the parts of the flower came to symbolize the torture (the Passion) of Christ prior to His crucifixion. The three stigmas reflect the three nails in Jesus's hands and feet; The threads of the passion flower resemble the Crown of Thorns; The vine's tendrils are likened to the whips; The five anthers represented the five wounds; The ten petals and sepals regarded to resemble the Apostles (excluding Judas and Peter); The purple petals represented the purple robe used to mock Jesus's claim to kingship (Matthew 27: 28). On She Bangs The Drums, 'She' is Jesus Christ (in this context, Sister rose) and the scene presented to us in these lines is the Last Supper. The mysterious figure on (Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister who "wakes up with the sun" is the same one here that comes "through the early morning sun", the risen Jesus Christ. The chorus, sang three times in succession, ends with the revelation that she'll be the first and the last "to describe the way I feel". The Church is comprised of Followers of the Way; placing a comma in the chorus lyric, such that it reads - The way, I feel - lends it an even more pronounced religious character. On three occasions in Revelation, Jesus proclaims Himself to be "the Alpha and the Omega", meaning 'the first and the last':

 

Top: Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, depicted here by Leonardo da Vinci in 1498.
Second row (left): "To come a day, shake this shroud away...". 'The Resurrection of Christ' by Matthias Grünewald (c. 1475 - 1528), from the Isenheimer Altarpiece (1510 - 1515).
Second row (right): Ian in Messianic pose.
Third row: 'Supper at Emmaus' (1601) by Caravaggio (1571 - 1610). The Supper at Emmaus is a post-Resurrection appearance of Jesus described in the Gospel of Luke 24: 13 - 35. Jesus appeared to Cleopas and one other disciple as they walked to Emmaus. At first "their eyes were holden" so that they could not recognize Him - this is the Meeting at Emmaus. Later, while having supper at Emmaus, "their eyes were opened" and they recognize the divine Wayfarer. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us ?" (Luke 24: 30 - 32). It does not say in this passage that Jesus disappeared, but rather, that He disappeared from their sight; Jesus was still there under the appearance of the bread. The sun, though appearing to leave us, never really goes away. It is not a new sun each morning, but a perpetual re-presentation of the same sun. On the entire walk from Jerusalem, Jesus had explained the Scriptures, but they still did not recognize Him from Scripture alone. But, in one instant, in His Eucharistic Presence, as the guest becomes the host, their eyes were opened and they saw who He was. On the day that Our Lord rose from the dead and conquered death, He said Mass. Jesus, the High Priest, opened the Scriptures on the Road to Emmaus, and when they went inside, He blessed the bread and wine. That night, He instituted the sacrament of Confession. He gives His apostles the authority to forgive sins. The two foremost roles of the priesthood from now until the end of time: offer sacrifice and forgive sins.
Fourth row: 'Eucharist in Fruit Wreath' (1648) by Jan Davidszoon de Heem (1606 - 1684). The chalice (of gold, silver and precious jewels) and the luminous Host offer Salvation, and are surrounded by a superfluity of wheat and grapes of different varieties. Rare fruit of all kinds, large plums, peaches, cherries, oranges, lemons, and others in state of ripeness together with hanging garlands, individual blooms, leaves and tendrils are all delicately painted as decoration and adornment. Jesus often used fruit (e.g., 'The Fig Tree Withers', Matthew 21: 18 - 22) as an analogy to help us understand that our actions reveal our hearts just as fruit identifies a tree. When Ian sings "Lift me as you say my name" on All Ablaze, he is referring to the motion of the priest in raising the host (My Lord and My God) and chalice (My Jesus, Mercy) during Consecration.
Fifth row: Passion fruit and cross section.
Bottom: The open bloom of a passionfruit flower, the national flower of Paraguay.

Two music videos were produced for She Bangs The Drums. The first was composed of video footage of the band recording in a studio in January 1989, where they are shown goofing around in slow motion, with Squire's artwork in the background. The second video featured clips from the Roses' Blackpool Empress Ballroom gig on 12th August 1989.

Modal analysis (by Steve Davidson):

Chords for the verse are E major and D major. The tonal centre here is the E major chord. The chords come from the Key of E Mixolydian. Here are the notes:

E Mixolydian scale (E F# G# A B C# D E)

For the chorus the chords are A major, D major and E major. The tonal centre shifts towards the A chord so we have a modal change to A Ionian. Here are the notes:

A Ionian scale (A B C# D E F# G# A)

Again, note that both E mixolydian and A Ionian modes have the same notes. It's just another case of the tonal centre shifting to a different chord which dictates the mood or mode of the song.

For the bridge section the chords switch between A major and E major while the main riff is played back and forth 4 times. The emphasis is still on the A major chord, so we are still in A Ionian mode. For the guitar solo the emphasis shifts again back to the E major chord as the song goes between the E major and D major chords (Basically repeating the verse structure). So we're back to E mixolydian again. When the chorus comes back in again, the tonal centre returns to the A major chord. So it's back to A Ionian mode until the end of the song.

 

She Bangs The Drums front and back cover artwork. This is a detail from the bottom-right of 'Sugar', rotated: "That was a detail of a larger picture that was also used later on 'I Wanna Be Adored'. We just honed in on one section of it. We were running out of time, and I didn't have time to work on it properly." (John Squire speaking to Select magazine, November 1997).


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