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Afraid of Sunlight

'I will deny' & 'Afraid of Sunlight'
On the night before his arrest, Jesus tells his apostle Peter that the disciple will deny him three times that night before the cock crows. Peter laughs but that night he is asked on three separate occasions whether he 'hangs out with the bloke that reckons he's the Messiah?' Three times Peter denies that he is a confederate of Jesus, knowing that Jesus is a political hot potato, wanted by both the Jewish and Roman authorities. As he denies Christ for the third time, the cock crows for morning and Peter realises what he has done.

'Spirit rack abuses'
Literally the bottles of alcoholic spirits lined up at behind the bar, often in optics. Clearly someone's been hitting it a bit hard.

It only occurred to me when listening to the Between You and Me podcast and Paul and Sanja Rose were talking about it. I'd always just heard it as a line about abusing one's soul, thinking about 'rack' as in the torture device, metaphorically-speaking, but never noticed the (now screamingly obvious) reference to boozing.

'Byzantine'
The Byzantine empire was the eastern part of the Roman Empire from 330 AD, encompassing Greece, the Balkans, Turkey, Judea and coastal northern Africa. After the fall of Rome circa 410 AD, it was the sole European empire. It continued until 1456, when it was invaded by Ottoman Turks under Mehmet II.

The Empire was renowned for its complicated politics, hence 'Byzantine' is used to indicate schemes that are complicated.


'Prick your thumbs'
The expression 'prick your thumbs' derives from Shakespeare's Macbeth and means a tingling sensation, said to indicate foreboding. The line occurs in act IV, when Macbeth has just seen the ghost of Banquo, the friend he murdered, at a banquet. (cf. The Uninvited Guest).

Having done the famous (but oft-misquoted) "Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble' invocation of Hecate from within their cave, the second witch looks up and declares:
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks!"

Enter MACBETH
Lyrics: Steve Hogarth & John Helmer

Song Listing


Songs with a link have explanations.



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