Moment of Verse: Arcade Fire/Peter Gabriel — “My Body Is A Cage”

Usually, these Moment of Verse posts don’t have any introduction. But here, I felt I’d just give a quick note on why I’m supplying you with two versions of a haunting, fantastic song. I’ve been a fan of the show “House” for a long time, and the music coordinator on that show does a wonderful job of choosing contemporary music that fits the mood and storyline perfectly. Side note: I think my dream job would be music coordinator on a successful television show.

Without rambling too much, suffice it to say that the show’s main character, Dr. Gregory House, has in recent seasons overcome an addiction to vicodin, which he’s taken since being shot in the leg a number of years before. In the most recent episodes, he’s relapsed into addiction and it’s cost him, among other things, his girlfriend and his happiness.

This song, originally by Arcade Fire from Neon Bible, was redone by Peter Gabriel for his covers album Scratch My Back last year, and it’s Gabriel’s version that — wisely — was chosen for the climactic scene. I won’t give it away in case you haven’t seen the episode yet. While Arcade Fire’s version uses organs to build the foreboding, Gabriel does so with a lovely string section and his own, bare bones vocal delivery. Check it out.

My body is a cage
That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
But my mind holds the key

My body is a cage
That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
But my mind holds the key

I’m standing on the stage
Of fear and self-doubt
It’s a hollow play
But they’ll clap anyway

My body is a cage
That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
But my mind holds the key

Standing next to me
My mind holds the key

I’m living in an age
That calls darkness light
Though my language is dead
Still the shapes fill my head

I’m living in an age
Whose name I don’t know
Though the fear keeps me moving
Still my heart beats so slow

My body is a cage
That keeps me from dancing with the one I love
But my mind holds the key

Standing next to me
My mind holds the key

My body is a . . .

My body is a cage
We take what we’re given
Just because you’ve forgotten, that don’t mean you’re forgiven

I’m living in an age
Still turning in the night
But when I get to the doorway
There’s no one in sight

I’m living in an age
Realizing I’m dancing
With the one I love
But my mind holds the key

You’re still next to me
My mind holds the key
Set my spirit free
Set my spirit free
Set my body free
Set my body free
Woo!
Set my spirit free
Set my body free
Oh, oh
Oh, oh

Peter Gabriel – My Body Is A Cage by The Wounded Jukebox

–Sean

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