Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mythology in Music: Clutch's "Release the Kraken"

Clutch is a four man American rock band which has been performing together since 1990. They have had eight CDs released with a ninth, Strange Cousins from the West, set to hit stores next month. Clutch is known for their unique sound which combines both hard rock and blues/funk influences. Their lyrics are also equally thought provoking and often contain references to history, mythology, science-fiction, and religion.

The song "Release the Kraken" off their 1999 album Jam Room draws its influence in part from the actual Greek myth of Perseus but mostly from the 1981 film Clash of the Titans, a loose retelling of the same story. Clash of the Titans was directed by Desmond Davis and featured special effects by Ray Harryhausen, who also produced the film.

Clash of the Titans’ biggest, and perhaps most iconic, addition to the myth of Perseus was that of the Kraken; a monster from Norse mythology, not Greek. It is also interesting to note that Harryhausen’s Kraken looks nothing like its mythological namesake but rather like a multi-limbed version of another one of Harryhausen’s monsters; the Ymir from 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957).

The following video was created by YouTube user sidewalkhawg and features "Release the Kraken" played to clips from Clash of the Titans.

The italicized words in found in the "Release the Kraken" lyrics were taken from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1995), page 819.

Sources: "Release the Kraken" lyrics found at http://www.stlyrics.com/.


What's the matter brother, does the drought got you down?
(Open up the bomb shelter, sweep it on out)
Sing to the ocean in the afternoon haze,
Up the iron pillars, rise in the waves.
Andromeda is weeping. Inside one teardrop swims
Brave Useless in training less a millimeter thin.

RELEASE THE KRAKEN!
GET THE SACRIFICE ON!
RELEASE THE KRAKEN!
GOOD GOD Y'ALL!

Useless the Younger we pray for you.
You know we got your back in whatever you do.
Bathysphere bobbing in Eyeball Bay,
Black lash crashes, forty foot waves.
Cepheus is holding Cassiopeia's free hand
As the Kraken breaks the surface making bee-line to the land.

In Greek legend the son of Zeus and Danae
He and his mother was set adrift in a chest,
But rescued by the intervention of Zeus.
He was brought up by KING POLYDECTES,
Who, wishing to secure Danae, got rid of him by encouraging him
In the almost hopeless task of obtaining the head OF THE MEDUSA!
With the help of the gods he was successful, and with the head,
Which turned all that looked on it into stone, he rescued Andromeda
And later metamorphosed Polydectes and his guests to stone.

4 comments:

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kamagra said...

hell yeah! one of the best movies in the world, Clash of the Titans from 1981, a real classic from the cinematic industry.

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