1000 Albums Project


Script for a Jester’s Tear, by Marillion
Suggested by Lea Syme

I’ve been struggling lately.

You’ve likely noticed it. My review rate has dropped dramatically. What was three, four reviews a day has become two at best, and sometimes none at all. I sit, staring at the screen, blank, trying to dredge words from an unwilling brain, fingers poised on the keys, heart lounging on the couch. I give myself time to write, then use that time to… to what? To stare at the crap on my desk?

I’ve planned my inevitable exit from this project from day one, almost. Planned how I’d pitch my slinking departure, worded my “it’s got out of hand” post, chosen and re-chosen the exact review number I’d pack it all in. At first it was Album 50, but that came and went. Then I thought Album 100 made sense, then Album 250. Now I’m thinking Album 500, but that’ll shift as I near the deadline. I felt an obligation at the earlier milestones, an obligation to review albums for everyone as-yet unrandomised, which became a bloody-minded resolve to keep going. This will likely propel me to the crest, and the downward slope promises to be easier. I hope.

But I’m fearful that the well will soon dry. Five hundred words, again and again, day in and out, as the albums blare in the background like needy infants. There are only so many ways to phrase my disdain for this or my love for that. Guitars are grinding, drums are pounding, singers soar and bassists bounce. I’ll surely deplete my stock at some point, slowly winding down, a tin robot on heavy carpet.

Marillion appears. What can I say? I listen. I crack my knuckles. I write.

Marillion can f**k off.

They can f**k off in a host of intricate and personally injurious ways. Their ridiculously overblown dramatic lyrics? They can f**k off. The fact that their singer was called Fish? That can f**k off. Their ten-minute operatic prog rock soft-cock wank sock hot crock of sh*t dong-pong songs? They can f**k off too. Marillion can pack their f**king guitars and their keyboards and their f**king multi-layered percussive suites into a f**k-off big rocket, and f**k the f**k off into space.

Script for a Jester’s Tear has six f**king songs, half of which are over eight minutes long. The shortest song, He Knows You? Five minutes and twenty-three f**king seconds, and it can f**k off. The best song, the titular Script for a Jester’s Tear? Eight minutes forty-two seconds, and that can f**k off too.

My, they’re colourful album covers, Teenage Craig. What are they?
It’s Iron Maiden.
Is that the heavy stuff?
Oooh, you know who you’ll like? Marillion! They’re heavy stuff too!
Are they?
And they have colourful albums as well, and guitars. They’re just like your Iron Maidens, Teenage Craig!
… No, Uncle John. They’re not like Iron Maiden. They’re not at all like Iron f**king Maiden. They’re not f**king heavy, and they’re not f**king angry, and they’re not f**king interesting, and they’re not f**king cool. They look like f**king stunt doubles for the cast of Auf Wiedersehen Pet, and they make music for f**king forty-year-olds like you, Uncle John, not for vibrant teenage rebels like me. They can, if you’ll pardon my f**king French, offez-le-f**k.

Script for a Jester’s Tear gets three out of f**king ten. Marillion are just Genesis for people who hate themselves, and they can close their f**king eyes, gird their f**king loins, take a deep exultant breath, and f**kity-f**k-f**k off.

*exhales deeply*

That should shake the cobwebs. Maybe there’s a little fire burning still.

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