Pet Shop Boys – The Way Through The Woods (2012)

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The PSB track opens with an extended instrumental section roughly a minute-and-a-half in length that’s almost prog-rockish in its unusual melodic and harmonic structure. (Could it be that Chris is giving vent to the fondness for Pink Floyd that he alludes to from time to time?) It evolves into a highly atmospheric midtempo piece with a prominent synth line, backed by “natural” sound effects: birds singing, insects buzzing, perhaps wind and/or water, indeed evocative of a woodland setting. (Come to think of it, it’s vaguely reminiscent of similar effects employed in that prog-rock masterwork, “Close to the Edge” by Yes.) The sound of heavy breathing can also be heard, suggesting someone jogging through the forest. Neil’s voice finally enters the mix, singing Kipling’s words to a pretty but again rather unconventional melody. He’s soon joined by orchestral strings and, for a couple lines, what sounds like a children’s chorus. (The Los Angeles-based adult vocal groups Sonos and the Waters are among the backup singers, but there are several others as well, some of whom may indeed be children.) The poem’s ominous final line—”But there is no road through the woods”—ends on an unresolved chord, making it sound all the more foreboding. [Source]

They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate.
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods…
But there is no road through the woods.

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