One of my favorite bands, The Books, is known for sampling far and wide, scissors and pasting their songs from a broad aleatory that de- and recontextualizes the lyrics. Take, for example, this stanza from “Smells like Content”:
And the hail’s heralding the size of nickels.
And the street corners are gnashing together like the gears
inside the head of some omniscient engineer.
And downward flows the garnered wisdom that has never died
I happened upon the source for this while walking to Prospect Park last night. There, on the facade of the Brooklyn Public Library, the words of Roscoe C. Brown:
Here are enshrined the longing of great hearts and noble things that tower above the tide, the magic word that winged wonder starts, the garnered wisdom that never dies.”
Photo credit: Emma’s Torch.
Roscoe Brown was a pilot, so it’s fitting that he speaks of “winged wisdom.” And I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that The Books gleaned their lyrics from the library.