Dominion/Mother Russia

Got any interesting thoughts on a set of lyrics? Any that don't involve the word "indeed"? Find yourself struggling to decipher all those obtuse references Von makes? Read "1959 And All That" and still no clearer? Postcards found lying in a skip around the back of the Chemists can be found here... Don't say you weren't warned.
EricSweden
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Is this a political song? Judging from the lyrics I'd say so... Vision Thing too.

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Always took both as being anti American foreign policy...safe point of view I would have thought
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once again, 1959 And All That discuss it here
Dominion
"Some day...some day everything you ever needed is just gonna fall out of the sky" - introducton to the song by Eldritch, Reading Festival, August 1991

In the heat of the night
...is a 1967 film directed by Norman Jewison and starring Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier. Though the film's themes are not directly related to Dominion's subject matter, it seems likely that Eldritch had the film in mind when writing this line.

On the lone and level/ Sand stretch far away.
This is a quotation from Percy Bysshe Shelley's (1792-1822) sonnet Ozymandias. Ozymandias recounts the tale of a "traveller from an ancient land" who encounters the remains of a "colossal wreck". Ironically, all that remains is a pedestal with the words "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:/Look on my works ye mighty and despair!". Shelley's theme is Eldritch's: the transient, destructive nature of power.

"I'm not a fan of Shelley, but Ozymandias is a powerful and ever-topical image: seemed a shame to waste it" - Eldritch, [C10]
Just in case anybody needed a helping hand with this one, a heavily re-mixed version of Dominion was entitled Ozymandias and included on the limited edition box-set 12" and cassette of Dominion.

The "lone and level" quote also appears in This Corrosion, although in a modified form.

In the meeting of mined.
The more obvious spelling is `mind' (also `hold hold and sway' - one can hold and sway a mind), so why `mined'? The `mined' may be those who are the victims of the powerful, those whose talents are extracted and used for other's enrichment; those who are the subjects of the Dominion. The `meeting of the mined' could be likened to a political rally where the powerful hold and sway the mined's minds.

Streets of shame
The UK's newspapers used to have their headquarters in Fleet Street, London. This became known as the `Street of Shame', so this might be a dig at the media in general and their role in subjugating the public. Alternatively, it could be a reference to the Reeperbahn.

In the betting of names on gold to rust.
"Gold to rust" is obviously the corrosion of an ideal (similar to Mother Russia's "Gold to chrome"). I am not sure what `betting of names' refers to. A best guess is that it refers to Lloyds' Names: Lloyds Register of Shipping is the world's oldest insurance company, and works by using rich individuals to underwrite it - the Names. They each sign over some part of their huge wealth to the company, in return for a share in the huge profits. Gold doesn't rust, and they feel safe - their bets are certain. Of course, the irony is that they choose to overlook the fact that if payouts need to be made to claimants, they also have a share in the losses.

In the land of the blind/Be...king, king, king, king
There's a common saying "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king". This is not necessarily intended as a positive statement: H.G. Wells wrote a short story "In the Country of the Blind". In this, the sighted man is anything but king - he's unwanted, useless, and treated with total indifference by the blind inhabitants. In the end he goes back where he came from, his perceived advantage having proved to be a liability. All of which gives the line a wonderful twist.

Mother Russia
We serve an old man in a dry season.
This is a reference to T S Eliot's Gerontion, the opening line of which is "Here I am, an old man in a dry month", and the closing line "Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season". The "old man" in Mother Russia's case being ex-President of the United States and B-Movie star Ronald Reagan. Rotten films, rotten Presidency.

sleepers.
Cold War Soviet agents who assimilated themselves into Western communities, ready to perform heroic acts of insurgency when the call came from the Motherland. In reality, the concept of sleepers was probably more the result of Cold War paranoia than an attempt by the USSR to subvert the American dream, hence "dreamers of sleepers".

There's a lighthouse in the middle of Prussia.
Prussia was an independent state prior to the (original) unification of Germany. The capital of Prussia was Berlin. In wall-era Berlin, the East Berlin skyline was (and still is) dominated by a TV tower, the Fernsehturm, which was built as a visible symbol of Communist technical prowess (the use of a TV tower for this propaganda purpose is particularly ironic) in direct competition to West Berlin which was a shop window for Capitalism (on the Kurfurstendamm literally so). Hence Berlin is Europe in microcosm, prostituted in a propaganda war by the two superpowers (see Eldritch quote, 'Mother Russia rain down' below). More acutely, Berlin sums up the Mutually Assured Destruction thesis of the Cold War: neither side could launch a nuclear strike on Berlin without destroying one of their own major cities at the same time.


A white house in a red square.
The White House in Washington DC is the official residence of The President of the United States. Political power in Moscow is concentrated around Red Square; apart from the Kremlin, there is also a White House close to Red Square. The Moscow White House used to house the assembly of the Russian Federation.

A Kino Runner for the DDR
Kino is the German for film / cinema. Keno is an American game similar to that cultural icon of the UK, Bingo (it doesn't sound as intellectually demanding, though - someone else checks the numbers for you...). A Keno Runner is a person who moves between tables collecting bets ("like a financial Blade Runner for the polyester masses of the mid-west" - Edward Bax). DDR is Deutsche Demokratische Republik, viz. East Germany.

the fifty-two daughters of the revolution
There is an American organisation called The Daughters of the Revolution which promotes the American way in all its glory (The Sisters' 1991 Washington gig was at the Daughters of the Revolution Hall in the shadow of the White House). Why there are specfically 52 daughters is unclear: it might refer to Reagan's second term being the 52nd American presidential term, also there are 52 playing cards which would fit in with the gambling motif mentioned above.

A special feature: Why 52?

turn the gold to chrome
The conversion of Gold to Chrome represents a debasement of an ideal. Both the USA and the USSR were founded on high ideals, which were inevitably ruined and abused by human nature. Eldritch occasionally uses chrome in reference to cars ("there will always be people whose only worry is where the next layer of chrome will come from for their car"), so in this case the Gold to Chrome would seem represent the implementation of the American idea of freedom (Gold) as the ability to own a motor car (Chrome). The car, of course, is the ultimate capitalist status symbol: a massively dangerous beast that f**ks up the planet, but underpins the world economy. Andrew Eldritch currently drives a Dodge Viper.

Gold is also emblematic of Russia, and the wealth left over from the monarchy after the Bolshevik Revolution: years later Russia would be forced to change to a cheap, crass, chrome-plated capitalist styled economy.

Gift...
Gift is the German for poison, and a deeply fabulous spaghetti-industrial album by The Sisterhood.

Stuck inside of Memphis with the mobile home.
This is a pun on a Bob Dylan song Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again. Relaxed gaming laws in Tennessee mean that Memphis is a Mecca for Keno junkies. Memphis is also the birthplace of Blues, Rock & Roll and Elvis Presley. More than enough for it to deserve the Chernobyl treatment.

Mother Russia rain down.
Mother Russia was inspired by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Over to Mr. Eldritch:

" I made the mistake of getting caught in central Europe when Chernobyl started sprinkling it's residue over the land. It's [Dominion/Mother Russia] part of my hate/hate relationship with America. I just had the idea of all them huddled in their mobile homes while Mother Russia rained down on them. They deserve it. I suppose the song is really about the prostitution of Europe by the Americans." [ATF]

External Links

Frequently asked questions about the game of Keno.
may i just point out that they miss the point somewhat with "meeting of mined". surely its "meeting of minds"? this a very common expression meaning when two or more people (usually, but not always, with the same opinions/views) get together and discuss their opinions/views. non?

:???:
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in fact, the official site says it is "meeting of mind"

http://www.thesistersofmercy.com/lyrics/dominion.htm
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On Jun 14, 2002 2:10am, EricSweden wrote:
Is this a political song? Judging from the lyrics I'd say so... Vision Thing too.
speaking about mother russia:
"I suppose the song is really about the prostitution of Europe by the Americans"
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I was watching A Chernobyl docu on Discovery last night (and very good and scary it was) and it struck me, as the fall out was reeaching Europe-Stockholm first- and than Europe gradually, even the UK, mayne the line "Mother Russia, Mother Russia rain down down down" means the Fall out? Just a theory.

Btw, this brings me back to that ever great Melody Maker issue where Eldritch discusses Floodland song by song (mentioned on the dominion list a while ago) . A very great and intriguing read. Gives you a sorta look into the mind of Eldritch. It is still a great read today, just can't locate it at the mo' but I believe someone had a scan online?
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oddly enough i was just listening to the toronto docks gig from 1999 and just as the opening beats to dominion start he says "don't take this personally" and "this is a song about europe"

oh, and i seem to recall the there being a scan of the MM interview in the HL image gallery...

the full text from the interview is on hal's website: clicky

;)
_Dominion/Mother_Russia_ was a Wagnerian opera until a Bolshevik Chevy convertible crashed into the chorus.

"I think _Dominion_ has it within it to entice the unwary. I made the mistake of getting caught in central Europe when Chernobyl started sprinkling it's residue over the land. It's part of my hate/hate relationship with America. I just had the idea of all them huddled in their mobile homes while _Mother_Russia_ rained down on them. They deserve it. I suppose the song is really about the prostitution of Europe by the Americans."
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When a stock broker buy shares, he doesn`t know if he`ll make gains or losses out of his purchase. So he is actually placing a bet on the credibilltiy of the company´s name. This is how I used to understand the betting on names.
Interesting is to remember Mathias Rust, winner of the village idiots awards for entering russian airspace in 1987 with a Cessna he flew all the way to central moscow, landing it in the middle of the city. That may have taken place in time go into this song. Did Andrew want to give Rust a gold medal for his idiotic deed? Is it irony? A conspiracy? Will we ever know? :wink:
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:lol:

nice idea, but i think those lyrics were written prior to that incident. the dominion demos date from late 86 dont they?
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Quiff Boy wrote::lol:

nice idea, but i think those lyrics were written prior to that incident. the dominion demos date from late 86 dont they?
Okay, admitted. You got me this time. As allways, actually.. Except it was a conspiracy. ;D :notworthy:
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<silly over-analysing>

As I'm reading Dostoevsky's Crime & Punishment, I came across this passage where 'Mother Russia' (in Dutch, but presume it'd be translated that way in English) came up, in a passage about Russian Railways ('big is so-called Mother Russia'). Probably going more than a bit too deep now, but still I reckon he must've read a book like this one, plus makes a nice link to Lucretia or even Train and all that, it seemed to me.

</silly over-analysing> :lol:
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Obviousman wrote:<silly over-analysing>

As I'm reading Dostoevsky's Crime & Punishment, I came across this passage where 'Mother Russia' (in Dutch, but presume it'd be translated that way in English) came up, in a passage about Russian Railways ('big is so-called Mother Russia'). Probably going more than a bit too deep now, but still I reckon he must've read a book like this one, plus makes a nice link to Lucretia or even Train and all that, it seemed to me.

</silly over-analysing> :lol:
Like that one? Crime and Punishment is the most likely suspect - delightfully Eldritch ;)
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:von:=Raskolnikow? Hmm, only halfway, so I'll have a look at that :lol:
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Am I the only one who heard "In the land of the black be King"?
That sprung to my mind again when I read This here:
2."Blackie won't know what to do after he's killed whitey, so he'll seek us out. When he finds us he'll be like 'massah, we don't know what to do' and I'll take blackie by the hand and rub his wooley little head and say 'it'll all be okay' and they'll make me their king." ~Charles Manson~
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Quiff Boy wrote:in fact, the official site says it is "meeting of mind"

http://www.thesistersofmercy.com/lyrics/dominion.htm
Yeah, but the Floodland lyric sheet says "mined". Which is what gold is.
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names - Lloyds have 'names'
multiple financial backers, underwriters, or members, whether individuals (traditionally known as Names) or corporations, come together to pool and spread risk
sorry, just stumbled upon this thread tonight
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I disagree unfortunately.

The videos were all made well after the songs were already in existence. Andrew is on record as saying something to the effect of "if they want me to make videos I'm going to make expensive videos." hence travelling to the Middle East and Petra.

On the other hand, I now know a lot more about the Nabataeans, so thanks ;D
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ageofmaya wrote:I'll teach you all on how not to believe anything you hear on history... :lol: ....as well as you should be careful about believing anything else, without checking the facts - which is very hard in the case of his-story. :D
Indeed you are right :lol: Very good.
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I'm neither naive nor trolling thank you very much.

What I'm trying to say is that the song was written, finished, done, complete, long before any decision to film the video in Petra was made. Yes, the desert imagery of the lyrics (largely lifted from Shelley's Ozymandias) probably helped to inspire the choice of location, but I think you're reading way too much into it.
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From Andrew himself:
http://www.thesistersofmercy.com/gen/vn ... ettext.htm :
video [...] is a peripheral medium at best
http://www.thesistersofmercy.com/gen/biog.htm :
'1959' is still the only Sisters video produced and directed by Andrew Eldritch, and the absence of anybody else's agenda makes it different from (and better than) all the others
Video is a gratuitous and expensive medium which the band has traditionally scorned
And just for good measure:
http://www.thesistersofmercy.com/gen/fa ... aqnorm.htm :
we've read humanist philosophy and political economics, because we're sentient beings, but we have no spiritual agenda whatsoever.
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Is it actually possible for a mod to be a troll? ;D
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There's a big difference between trolling and disagreeing. Especially when you're disagreeing by citing hard evidence.
Any more of that and we'll be round your front door with the quick-setting whitewash and the shaved monkey.
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it is based heavily on/borrows heavily from shelly's ozymandias (greek name for rameses II) which is about the transcience of power of even the greatest empires; inspired by the broken and fallen staue of ramesesII seen by shelly in the desert. seguing as it does into mother russia which is spewing its nuclear "might" albeit in the form of nuclear waste over itself and the west i think dominion is simply von saying "sic transit gloria mundi".
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ageofmaya wrote:Ouch! :lol: Mark, sorry, you know I didn't want to insult you. It's just that I come from place where we're really more free to express even with the bad words. :p Sorry again if you felt hurt a bit.
;D Thanks but don't worry, I'm not at all insulted.
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What.

The differences between various human "races" are literally skin deep. Biologically speaking, the entire Human Race is just that - one race. You're getting onto some very dodgy ground indeed with this "white race" and "dark race" nonsense. The ideas of racial superiority and inferiority are entirely ideological constructs of the colonial era. Indeed, according to the Nazis' racial "theories", Slavs are part of the untermensch and not "Aryan" at all.

The Vedas are mythology, not history. You may as well base your argument on the Iliad; it's roughly contemporary.

Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower didn't work and indeed could never work. The theory behind it was based on outdated notions of how electricity worked. The whole "Earth resonance" thing was actually a theoretical dead-end and supplanted by the newer, more correct science of electro-magnetic waves.

The Tunguska impact had nothing to do with Tesla; it was a comet or asteroid impact which exploded in mid-air.

The Dominion lyric is "we serve an old man in a dry season"...

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I give up. The problem with trying to correct the fractal wrongness in your posts is that I could spend hours going through each of your posts and correcting every single one of your misconceptions.
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