Lorelei

Album: New England (1976)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is based on the legend of the Lorelei. The Lorelei is actually a rock - a very large one on the Rhine River in Germany. It is positioned in a narrow, shallow area of the river, making it common spot for shipwrecks. Those looking outside of nature to explain these shipwrecks came up with a popular folk tale. According to the legend, a beautiful young woman (in some variations, a mermaid) sat on the rock waiting for her lover to return. When he didn't, she plunged to her death. Since then, her spirit sits on the rock enticing passing sailors with her sweet song, drawing them to their doom.

    In the song, the legend is used as an analog to a temptress. In a Songfacts interview with Andy Powell, he said: "It was a metaphor for being tempted astray, should we say."
  • A radio edit of "Lorelei" was released as the B-side of "Outward Bound" on the Atlantic label. Though this is definitely not singles material, it is a very fine song indeed, the definitive recording being the live version from the double Live Dates album.

    With bass player Martin Turner on lead vocal and Laurie Wisefield making liberal use of the tremolo arm playing the lion's share of the lead, counterpointed by Andy Powell with his de rigueur Flying V, like "Die Lorelei" this is another song inspired by a rock in the River Rhine, although there may well have been a real woman behind it. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

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