Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Minutes to Midnight -- great discussion

Mathias Hermansson hermanator51 at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 13 00:30:53 MDT 2004

Ummm, in Sweden the "88" is an ice-cream...


>hi all
>yet another famous 88 ...
>the most renowned free-standing canon used by the Germans in WW2
>was the '88' - 88 millimetre barrel diameter ... those barrels get
>searingly hot when fired repeatedly ("very rapid rate of fire: 25
>rounds per minute") ... fingers would indeed blister on the 88. for a full
>dissertation on how well-noted the 88 is ...
>and given that Oils are singing about military issues in MTM, it is pretty
>sweet that they'd write in as many dualistic ambiguous terms as
>possible, musos are such poets ... double / triple meanings
>the '88' is very iconic in military hardware lingo ... like 'everyone' 
>a 'U-boat' is a German submarine and a '303' is a rifle (the aussie
>military rifle of choice, WW1, WW2).  funny that 303 never appeared
>in an an Oils song given their penchant for slipping in iconic, evocative
>love those hidden layers ...
>On 12 Apr 2004 at 9:11, tfrommer at mindspring.com wrote:
> > I initially wrote:
> >
> > >> I think "88" has to be piano -- 88 keys on a standard.
> >
> > Phil replied:
> >
> > >i always thought it was connected to ICBM's, SS-20's etc... the AGM-88
> > >was officially put into production in 1983, 1 year before Red Sails.. I
> > >know this was also discussed a few years back, but i dont have anything
> > >archived.... will have to check elsewhere for that....
> > >
> >
> > Wow, very interesting take and something I never knew about (AGM-88). 
>That verse ends "the dancer's hand grips the rail/and fingers will blister 
>on the 88s/Hope drains out of the side of the page" I always took 88s as a 
>piano. And the whole lyric as similar to the band playing on the Titanic as 
>it sank. You just keep fiddling, dancing, playing the piano and don't mind 
>the missile silos over here.
> >
> > --Tim
> >
> >
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