Lincoln’s Hat on YouTube

Lincoln’s Hat on Spotify

Even though this album was released in 2018 (without telling anybody), it was recorded entirely between 2010 and 2013, alongside the other Horchata Network album, “One Pound of Camembert”.

I was talking with somebody about the possibility of a substance that would exhibit a repulsive force, maybe an antigravitational push, and we concluded that if such a substance existed, it would probably never be discovered and be scattered evenly in a circle expanding through the universe, with each atom as far away from anything as possible.

One of us said “I find that idea repulsive.” and we laughed.  I also immediately thought of Isaac Newton, and how he found everybody and everything repulsive and annoying.  I also facetiously imagined, if there were a parallel universe where almost everything was opposite, including an equal and opposite physical force to everything in this universe (repulsion wherever there was attraction) that the only thing which would remain common would be Isaac Newton’s temperament.  (Every part of that is entirely a right-brained joke concept.  I know it makes no sense.)

I’m such a maladjusted human being, I often don’t have a strong grasp of what knowledge is common.   After showing a few people this song, I think I realized that the following tidbits are not all common knowledge:

  • Isaac Newton is often accredited with the invention of the inverse-square law, describing the attraction of mass due to gravity, among other universal observations.  (It was actually discovered earlier by a few other people, who asked Newton of his opinion, before he announced to the scientific community that he had discovered it, but play along.)
  • There is a (possibly partially apocryphal) tale of Newton watching an apple fall from a tree in 1666 in Lincolnshire, England.
  • Isaac Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, which also encompasses the King’s College Chapel, and its famous two spires.
  • Isaac Newton possibly had Aspergers syndrome, as well as a plethora of personality defects which resulted in being a famously prickly person.
  • Isaac Newton published the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica on this day, 331 years ago in 1687, which outlined many new ideas, including his laws of motion, his law of gravitation, and a basis for what became modern day calculus.  He purposely wrote the paper in the most complicated and indecipherable way possible, as to reduce the number of second rate mathematicians who would be able to approach him about the paper.
  • Isaac Newton refused to be ordained a priest, which was a requirement for all Cambridge faculty at the time.
  • Isaac Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
  • Although he is credited with discovering more scientific principles than possibly any other human being in history, he spent most of his time following his obsession with the occult and trying to turn sunlight into gold.
  • In mathematics, saying “with respect to” means that the object after the word “to” is the independent variable, to which all other variables are dependent.

 

I’ve included a YouTube link to the full album, with a timecode that should jump to this song in the album.  If it doesn’t, you can click the timestamp for the song in the description of the video.

Stylistically, I decided to duplicate a number of Peter Gabriel elements, pulling stylistic influence from a number of his bandmates (Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, David Rhodes, specifically) and specifically a few songs, including Big Time, Family Snapshot, Sledgehammer, The Barry Williams Show, and (as a joke, at the end of the song) a signature sound of the album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis (also a Peter Gabriel thing, but stylistically very different than what’s considered the Peter Gabriel sound.  If it wasn’t already slightly humorous, it will never become humorous, don’t worry.)  I even mixed and mastered this song in a totally different style than the rest of the record, more akin to how things were done in the 80s.

The lyrics to the second verse were just a stand-in until I thought of a more clever way to word them, but I had just finished recording the vocals for the Horchata Network song “Log Scale” and my voice was really really shot, and I decided to try recording this song, and I was so in love with how I sang the second verse that I just decided to leave it in with the stand-in lyrics, which are a bit scientifically inaccurate, the way they’re currently worded.

Vocally, I was trying to decide how closely I wanted to copy Peter Gabriel’s vocal style, and from which era, but I knew I wanted a really gravelly sound of somebody whose voice is kind of shot, so, as mentioned above, I waited until my voice actually was shot.  After trying a few different Peter Gabriel impressions, it started seeming more like a parody or joke than a tribute, and I decided to scrap it and try something less forced for me, which ended up sounding more like Dicky Barrett from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.  Everybody who hates how I sing on other songs LOVES this song, and everybody who loves how I sing on other songs HATES this song.

Anyways, here are the lyrics, which pair best with the factoid list above:

Newton floating upside down discovers inverse square
But not the Newton that you know, cause this one’s in the air.
Instead of watching apples fall from trees in Lincolnshire,
He’s throwing fruit at people from a Cambridge chapel spire.

As you see, I’ve mastered levitation
And it’s not a silly affectation
I have found I’m acting more impulsive
Now that I find everything repulsive with respect to myself.

As you see, I’ve mastered levitation
Though I won’t be founding aviation
I have found I’m acting more impulsive
Now that I find everything repulsive with respect to myself,
Lots of respect.

I’ll write a book where the point I’m trying to make
Is that I despise everyone,
Everything, everybody that is taking up mass and my space.
I will make it so hard for you all to read
That you’ll be forced to see you’re second rate.

If you didn’t realize, this alternate dimension
Is like opposite gravitational surface tension
For everywhere that’s dipping our space time continuum
On the other side is inverse equilibrium.

As you see, I’ve mastered levitation
I’m disproving all this gravitation
I have found I’m acting more impulsive
Now that I find everything repulsive with respect to myself.

As you see, I’ve mastered levitation
To avoid my mandatory ordination
I have found I’m acting more impulsive
Now that I find everything repulsive with respect to myself,
All your respect.

Actions performed opposite and equal yours,
We are the cause, you’re the effect, of course
We’re both the cause and effect, affecting cause we don’t like anyone.
We are stuck in a world that’s filled with love and closeness
Couldn’t we just try to hate some more?

And all this gold with hardly any light
I think I’ll try to brighten up tonight.
So if by chance I give up doing things
Just please know that the sunlight torched my wings.

What a lonely, lonely world.

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