Ulysses

Album: Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (2009)
Charted: 20
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was titled after the James Joyce novel of the same name, which chronicled a day in its protagonist's life. It also references the Greek Mythological hero Ulysses who was the hero of Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey. Frontman Alex Kapranos told Mojo magazine May 2008: "I like the idea of the gods blowing you away for 10 years. I like the idea of being out in the Aegean - of being lost but embracing it."
  • Kapranos referred to this song when interviewed by Rolling Stone as, "quite an odd one," adding, "It's got the immediacy of a Pop song but it's an abstract construction too. Having the immediacy of pop without the conventions of pop is something that we still aim for."
  • This song was previously used as part of a sound art exhibition by the Albanian artist Anri Sala that was held in London.
  • The cover art for the single was photographed in Brooklyn by Guy Eppel. It is part of a series of photos of the band that are of, according to Franz Ferdinand's blog, "imaginary crime scenes."
  • Dan Carey (Lily Allen, Hot Chip) produced Tonight: Franz Ferdinand after initial sessions with Girls Aloud producer Brian Higgins didn't work out.
  • Kapranos told Mojo December 2008 that Tonight: Franz Ferdinand is, "a night time record, about different elements of a full-on night out, from being charged up for decadence to being on the dancefloor, to freaking out, to rocking yourself to sleep in your bedsit at the end of it. The title is about the sense of anticipation that something big's about to happen."
  • Kapranos described to Mojo magazine February 2009 this song, which was inspired by the wandering Greek hero, as, "about being lost and loving being lost."
  • Kapranos explained to self-titled magazine the inspiration for this song: "I always loved the story of Ulysses when I was a kid—about a guy being a lost and never thinking he was coming home. But instead of getting upset about it, he embraced it and said, 'Wow, I'm lost, but this is an adventure.' I had part of the melody originally. When I write songs and melodies, I keep an audio notebook on my computer, and I name the files after the first thing I see in the room. So there's a piece of music called 'Lamp shade,' one called 'Rug.' I was sitting in my living room, and the copy of James Joyce's Ulysses was the first thing my eye hit. That got me thinking about [The Odyssey by Homer]. How old is that story? Four thousand years old? And it's still eternal."

Comments: 5

  • Bryan from Orlando, FlThis song has two versions, almost indistinguishable from one another. The difference lies in the chorus and the emphasis on the syllables.

    One goes: LA, LA-la-la-la
    Second one goes: LA, la-LA-la-la

    Very hard to find the variant online now a days.
  • Darren from Aberdeenshire, United Kingdomalso alex kappranos is Greek (of origin) and I have personally asked him about that song after at a live concert. i stated he sang it with more passion than any of the others on the night, and i like the new album, this is my fav track on it etc etc etc- he stated "must be his heritage and the love of greek mythology.....and knowing its his mums favourite track!!!
  • Mike from Batavia, NyThis song apparently is about drugs. It contains the lyrics lets get high and i found a new way. I found a new way sounds like an acid reference.
  • Dhruv from Delhi, Indialove this song so cool.......
  • Kelsey from Brandon, FlThis song is Franz Ferdinand's best!
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