“Did you ever see a man
who did walk down the street,
white robe with no shoes on his feet,
and on top of his head placed a box with two slits,
and the sign from his neck said ‘I do not exist’.”
- lyrics from Miserere by The Cat Empire.
Yes, at first glance this song seems unnecessarily depressing.
But this one song is a very quiet and moving song, and it is truly beautiful. It really struck a chord with me first time I heard it a few years ago.
The man in the lyrics could be lots of things. For some, he is simply a man hiding from society, escaping into his own world. For others, he could be that one guy who you see every day, but who you never notice. That one guy who needs to be recognised. He could be a metaphor for God. He could be all of us, walking in our dark circles, hiding our true identity from the world, from ourselves.
Anyway, I did this on Paddy the iPad yesterday. I realise there’s no white robe, and he’s wearing shoes.. But it seemed more fitting for me to put him in jeans and a jumper.
This song is so different from the rest of their music – The Cat Empire are a really upbeat, feel-good band from Australia – and they happen to be the only band I’ve seen live. (Big fan of them.) But this is pretty much their only quiet song, and totally different to the rest of their stuff – especially with the angelic voice Felix’s younger brother making an appearance – makes a completely new sound for them.
Most of you won’t have heard of The Cat Empire, they’re not incredibly well known, but if you like happy fusions of lively music and fantastic lyrics sung with sizzling Australian accents.. then The Cat Empire might be for you!