This song isn’t in one of the Cool submission playlists. It might not even be indie, because they have a record label to distribute the upcoming album for retail. Nevertheless, this song has me hooked ever since I first heard it about a month ago. It’s 10 minutes of pure progressive rock. I’ve added it as a bonus track to this week’s Cool 20.
‘Amelia’ is taken from the upcoming Mark Kelly’s Marathon debut album, which will be released on November 29. Mark Kelly is the keyboard wizard in Marillion. Marathon features one of my favourite drummers, Henry Rogers, who is best known for playing with the progressive rock bands Touchstone, DeeExpus and Mostly Autumn. The other band members are vocalist Oliver M. Smith, guitarist, bassist and backing vocalist Conal Kelly (Mark Kelly’s nephew) and guitarists Pete Wood and John Cordy.
The lyrics of this magnificent song were written by Guy Vickers. To me lyrics can make or break a song. So for this little review I’m not going to focus on the melodious music, the great guitar solos or even the little keyboard solo near the end, but just the lyrics. I also want to mention the brilliant job that Oliver did incorporating the lyrics into the music.
The song tells the story of Amelia Earhart aka Lady Lindy, born in Kansas and the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. “Flying high, pacific sky, waters blue below. We’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Amelia and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared in the central Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937, during an attempt to fly around the world. It’s unclear what happened to them.
About three years later, a British official in Nikumaroro aka Gardner island discovered 13 bones buried near the remains of a campfire. The bones were shipped to Fiji, where two doctors examined them. One thought they came from an elderly Polynesian male. The other thought they belonged to a European male. After that the bones went missing, but it is believed they did belong to Amelia Earhart.
Oliver sings the story of Amelia from different points of view. About the first half of the song he’s mostly the narrator. After the guitar solo representing Amelia’s flight and the crashing of the plane, he also voices Fred: “Walking along a beach, Amelia and me… Drinking Benedictine from a bottle.”
Amelia: “But I’m a little weary, to sit down underneath that tree. Afraid if I should die here, d’you think they’ll know it’s me? If they find our skulls and bones, Fred, like two pirates of the sea, will this sextant box and bottle be the clues that they’ll need?”
“Amelia, our favourite missing person…”
Give it a listen and tell me, what song has you obsessed?