First It Giveth

The following was created to satisfy my mild amusement and keen interest in drug use, abuse and addiction.
And today we’re doing things a little bit reversed, starting with the posts tune before the imagery. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. All in good reason though.
The song is about the role drugs play in the process of making music. When asked in an interview if it is easier to make music on drugs, Josh Homme said “Well I think we have a song that about this subject called First they Giveth, then They Taketh away, and I think at first you can draw inspiration and then eventually, it negates any inspiration.”
Contact Sheet

Composing of ‘First It Giveth’

I forgot to mention, this song is and has been a huge favorite of mine for many, many years. There aren’t many tunes that I’ve listened to that I would find this easy to translate into still image.

Here are the words to Queens of The Stone Age’s – First It Giveth

I’m in you
You’re in me
I can’t tell

You’re so cruel
More than me
It is true
That’s right

Loyal to
Only you
Up your sleeve

I want some (come on, take it)
Of all of you (it’s yours)
Trickin’ me

First it give’th
Then it take’th away

I would beg
I would plead
I would shake

On a hook
Dangling
By the way

I’m so young
And beautiful
(That’s right)
(I’m slick)
I’m no fool

Time goes by
Tables turn
Now I know

First it give’th
Then it take’th away

Some take the first verse to directly relate to heroin use and hence the idea of setting the stage in a poppy field. I was between minds as to whether it should be South East Asia, like say Vietnam or whether it should be Afghanistan in the desert hills. In the end they both collided and created the background you’ll now become familiar with.

I included the use of characters reminiscent of those in the Hans Christian Anderson’s, “Thumbelina.” the one in the foreground atop a poppy, wielding a hypodermic needle above her head, waiting to administer another hit of the morphine.

In some ways I felt as though the fairy tale could see itself as an allegory of addiction.

“A syringe full of horse, makes the medicine go down”

I’ve read several takes on the song in question, I like the further interpretation of the lyrics, even more than Homme’s explanation itself.  While the suggestion that in the beginning drugs may help in the creative process it eventually takes away from his work after thus becoming the only thing that matters – an interesting way of viewing it. When the focus is just altogether lost after awhile.

Blocking in and Adjusting Colour

Blocking in and Adjusting Colour – Poppies Everywhere!

The idea of us looking at the dark descent into the cycle of addiction. Starting with abject uncertainty of in or out, up or down. Losing grip on reality. The way in which the drug acts like a very enthusiastic courtesan, encouraging her patron to give into his/her vice.

Adjustments and Details

Adjustments and Details

To me it’s almost an ode to drug use/addiction. The highs and lows, the thrills and spills of what starts out as casual drug use to eventual drug addiction. The anxiety and irritation that comes between uses. When the stash box becomes empty, the host becomes restless, agitable and desperate.

11 - Thumbelina Spirit Heroine - WM

“First It Giveth”

For when it all feels like a walk down the beach. But one step in the grave, a foolish one to take.

You consume today yet it is you that is consumed tomorrow.

I read an article here, In The Cave: Philosophy and Addiction. It’s a year old, however relevant.

I can stop whenever! Do I want to though?

Irie folks,

Keep Blazing and Stay Amazing

One thought on “First It Giveth

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