Black Plant

With a length of only three minutes and 59 seconds, “Black Plant” gains the award of the longest song on “The Age of the Understatement”.

“Black Plant” is a story about a relationship told from the perspective of both the boyfriend and the girlfriend. The first verse is about a girl who has recently cheated on her boyfriend. She is sorry for what she has done, and she tries to apologize by writing him numerous letters that attempt to explain herself. Although she wants to, she can’t find the strength to give the letters to him, and she knows that they will most likely do no good anyway because he is too upset with her. The second verse is about the boyfriend in the relationship. He is fed up with the way that things have gone, and he is altogether unsatisfied with the situation. Temptation starts to show its ugly face, and he begins to stray. He eventually ends up cheating on his girlfriend with another girl. Neither one of them can apologize for what they have done because they know the other one will not understand where they are coming from. This is why the girl never ended up sending the love letters; she knew that it would not have made the boyfriend feel any better about their situation. Both of them know that they had control over the choice they made to cheat, and that there is no possible way to justify their decision. Therefore, apologizing after cheating would be worthless because they both had control over what they decided to do. Even though they understand this, they decide to apologize to each other anyway in hopes that this will mend their relationship. So they wait, each of them feeling guilty, trying to justify both their choice to mend their relationship and to cheat in the first place. They reflect on the situation while in a broken state of mind, deciding what their next step should be. The song is entitled “Black Plant” because Turner and Kane have used the term as a metaphor for the boy and girl’s relationship in their story. The relationship is withering due to a lack of nourishment and will continue to fade until something is done to reverse this action.


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The song begins with the sound of wind chimes. Turner and Kane then begin to resonate a chorus of oh’s, such as something that could be found within any number of Bee Gees songs. Apart from a small amount of lines, the song is sung in unison by both Turner and Kane. The playing of brass instruments can be heard during each verse and also towards the end of the song. The lyrics fade out and a sound similar to the scratching of the instruments’ bows is all that can be heard. The sound then turns into the slow-playing resonance of the orchestra and ends after roughly 25 seconds.

Peter Marsden 2010 All Rights Reserved