This is a time for mourning, a time for lament. And while taking time to grieve does not preclude the act of reconciliation, or the healing of relationships, today it precedes it. Peacemakers and justice-seekers, have your sorrow and your anger today, and then rest.
Worry about unity another day.
There is a time for everything: a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to be silent and a time to speak. For now, it’s time to mourn. There will be work to do soon enough.
This song’s title is of course a play on words, and carries a double meaning.
The first – august spies – will be, to some, the most direct and obvious interpretation: august as an adjective meaning venerable or respected, and spies, the plural of spy. And this is a darkly fun interpretation that inspires some imagination.
The second, however, is even more interesting to me, and closer to what was on my mind when I wrote the song. August Spies (pronounced spees), the person, was a labor activist who was unjustly found guilty of a bomb attack during an event called the Haymarket affair. If you’re familiar with labor history, I don’t need to tell you his story, but if you aren’t, Spies is worth researching.
I happened to be reading about him when I wrote the song “August Spies,” which comes from my album Down to Dusk. You can hear more right here.
All of my songs have stories behind them, and I’ve told some of those here in the past. Since a number of DJs have played “The Man Called Thursday” recently, I thought it might be worthwhile to tell its story.
Based on the feedback I’ve received so far, listeners who like the song enjoy it’s chilled summer vibe, and of course I’m happy to hear that. But I think the feel of the song is more enigma than escapism; more intrigue than relaxation. In fact, I’ve written a number of songs with the goal of creating more of a chilling feel (as opposed to chilled), “The Last Resort” being a good example. I hope that when you listen to those songs, you imagine a film or a novel or your own narrative, some sort of story steeped in mystery.
Maybe those hopes are a little high. But “The Man Called Thursday” was itself inspired by a novel (or novella?) by G. K. Chesterton called The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare. I won’t summarize the book here – I wouldn’t want to give it away for those of you who haven’t read it, and I wouldn’t want to botch an explanation for those of you who have (and may grasp it better than I did). But it is a fascinating book filled with anarchists and allegory, and it’s the book I was reading when I dreamed up this song.
“The Man Called Thursday” comes from my album Down to Dusk: Rural Sounds Volume 2, which I hope you’ll check out if you haven’t already. And I’d love to hear your thoughts on this song or the book that inspired it…
While “Getaway” was the lead-off single for my new album, Down to Dusk: Rural Sounds Volume 2, “The Man Called Thursday” has been gaining a bit of radio traction lately. Most recently, Aja and Claire Simone included the song on their Ketch a Vibe show for two weeks in a row (episodes 194 and 195)!
I’m always happy when one of my songs makes it into a radio playlist, but it’s especially exciting when the song gets played alongside some of my favorite artists. In show #195, “The Man Called Thursday” is played along with tracks by artists such as Incognito, Dorian Concept, and Fertile Ground! Definitely good company to keep, and I’m honored to be included.
The Ketch a Vibe show is one I’d listen to whether they played my music or not. Jazz funk to spiritual jazz to downtempo. Deep and eclectic. I highly recommend this one
My latest album, Down to Dusk: Rural Sounds Volume 2, has been getting some great feedback! I wanted to share it here to express my gratitude for everyone who has taken the time to listen and share their thoughts.