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Nara by Alt-J

Album: This Is All YoursReleased: 2014
  • This is the middle track of a three-song cycle named after a Japanese town, which was the capital of the country from 710 to 784, lending its name to the Nara period. According to legend, a mythological god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital. Since then the deer have been worshipped as sacred, protecting the city and the country and they can be seen roaming free through the town.
  • The song is about gay marriage and the joy of a life without interference. Keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton explained in an interview for the Italian magazine Rumore: "The song was written around the time of the Winter Olympics in Russia — the Russian Government’s policy about gay people was a big topic then, and we thought what they were doing was wrong, obviously."

    "The guy is basically is wishing he could be like a deer in Nara, and to be left alone to do what he wants," he added. "He’s not hurting anybody, so why should he be told that he can’t marry a man he loves?"
  • There is a reference to Aslan, the lion in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles Of Narnia, when Newman sings, "He's found me, my Aslan." Whilst Aslan represents mankind's saviour Jesus Christ in Lewis' allegorical Christian story, Alt-J are comparing here a homosexual relationship to the love of the redemptive lion/Jesus.
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