Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Fartwork: Dylan Mondegreen's While I Walk You Home

Dylan Mondegreen
While I Walk You Home
(Division Records)

I shall kickstart this first piece of Friday Fartwork the only way I know how - in the bedroom. And what a bedroom we've found ourselves in. Let's deconstruct this cover a little and start with the text.

The first line says "DYLAN MONDEGREEN" - that, in all likelihood, should be the name of the album. Which makes the bit beneath it, "while i walk you home", the name of the band. And because it's positioned beneath the album title, and in smaller sized typefont, we're being told that this band, While I Walk You Home, is a humble band that considers its art superior to its identity.

Moving on to the visuals. We have the scene of a girl doing her laundry and a man, positioned further behind her, assisting in this piece of household chore. How do I know this, you may ask. Well, it might escape most of you, but my fantastic powers of semiotics caused my eyes to notice the grimace on the girl's face. This, coupled with the fact that she is staring at a food stain on her collar, tells me that it is Saturday morning and it's time to use the washing machine. The man undressing behind her is complying with this weekend ritual by clearing what's on him to be thrown in along with the wash. He may or may not be her lover - but that's irrelevant.

The real brilliance of all this, of course, is in how everything comes together. The album title, Dylan Mondegreen must have something to do with this mundane scene of two people preparing to wash their clothes. But what is the link? For this, I resorted to a bit of highschool etymology. Mondegreen is made up of two words: "Monde", which means "world" in French and "green" is simply the colour of leaves, grass and jealousy. "Dylan" is a Welsh name that means "son of the sea". So, the name of this record really is "Son of the sea, french green world".

Which starts to make sense now. They're not in fact using a washing machine to do their laundry. They are children of the sea, and they are taking their laundry to the green world outsid... what? Wait a minute.

(What? How is it about vegetables? Oh. U-huh. U-huuuh. Oh. You're right.)

Pantsy just pointed out that Mondegreen translates not into "french green world" but "french world of greens". Which means that this album fartwork is all about the vegetable stain on the girl's collar which precipitates the need for doing laundry. Finally, it all makes sense. Thanks Pantsy. Well spotted.

Dylan Mondegreen - Girl In Grass

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