Ute Lemper — Lullaby (By-By-By) (Written by Scott Walker) (2004)

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Scott-watchers will already know the last track on the new album ‘Lullaby’ as a version of ‘Lullaby (by by by)’ which you wrote for Ute Lemper in the late 1990s and which appeared as a bonus track to the Japanese version of her LP Punishing Kiss.

SW: That’s right. I wrote it in 1999.

Ok, well, her version of this song is already fantastic. Why revisit it?

SW: It’s because the song is one of the only songs… in a sense, in a very superficial sense, the song is about assisted suicide. That was in the air back then but now it’s really in the air. So I thought, ‘We could do a great version of this song. I’ll just rearrange it for us.’ So I chopped away at it and changed it. And it worked. Like everyone I know, I am torn about this subject. I understand the problem and why some people want it but I’m very frightened about the idea of people engineering our deaths in a technological way. That’s the bothering thing about it to me. So that’s why I recorded it because it’s a current issue but then again it’s also one of those timeless subjects. It’s absolutely brutal, especially in the “Lullaby lullaby” section where I’m absolutely screaming it so there’s no vocal quality at all in it. It’s not a quiet lullaby it’s an absurd lullaby because I’m shouting it.*

Do you find it in anyway upsetting or draining to sing this track?

SW: Erm… it was in some ways but when I have that great track that Sunn O))) did… I did it in one take and I just love what we did with it. That was one of the tracks where Greg was coming back in while I was trying to get it right and he would say, ‘Oh God, that sounds like shit.’ And then I found a way with them to make it sit but then it worked. I guess that was the only one where we had a bit of a glitch. [Source]

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