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"Harvest Festival" is a song by Andy Partridge. It appeared on the 1999 album Apple Venus Volume 1.

The demo appeared on Apple Venus Volume 1's companion demo album, Homespun.

An instrumental version appeared on the Apple Venus Volume 1 instrumental album, Instruvenus.

QuotesEdit

Andy (on the demo): “As a kid, I had no idea what the harvest festival ceremony at school was supposed to be about. This bizarre mix of Christianity, paganity, help the Aged, a jumble sale and fridge raid, all seem to crash together (with schoolboy lust interest) in the lyrics of this song.

“This demo is in two sections. The first being that prime fumbling onto mono cassette. You can hear me trying a chorus of ‘one kiss you gave me’, teetering over an embryonic melody. This has been edited at 1.04 minutes onto a slightly later eight track ADAT recording. Think you'll agree the song by this stage feels pretty final.

“Don't get too wigged out by the burbling muffled orchestra under the early version. What happened was when I got the idea, I just grabbed the nearest tape, which I think was maybe some ‘Handel’, and I slammed it into the nearest recorder. In my urgency to catch the muse I'd forgotten that the tape deck was faulty and never properly erases what's underneath. So here we have it, an inadvertently psychedelic version with a baroque master unknowingly jamming with me from beyond the grave.

“I decided to move the arrangement from acoustic guitar to piano simply because of the evocation of an English school assembly. Music master seated at the grand in the hall, girls one side, boys the other. Furtive but powerful glances shooting between the ranks of confused white shirted trainee adults. A smile from a girl across the room can have an atomic blast impact on a spotty, shy lad of thirteen. Ground zero at your heart.

“I'm very proud of the lines ‘see the children with baskets, see their hair cut like corn, neatly combed in their rows’. This, for me, is the whole confused dream of school harvest festival distilled into a few words.”

LyricsEdit

See the flowers round the altar

See the peaches in tins 'neath the headmaster's chair

Harvest festival


See the two who've been chosen

See them walk hand in hand to the front of the hall


Harvest festival

Harvest festival

What was best of all was the

Longing look you gave me

That longing look

More than enough to keep me fed all year


See the children with baskets

See their hair cut like corn neatly combed in their rows


Harvest festival

Harvest festival

What was best of all was the

Longing look you gave me

That longing look

Across the hymnbooks and the canvas chairs

The longing look you gave me

That longing look

More than enough to keep me fed all year


What a year when the exams and crops all failed

Of course you passed but you were never seen again

We all grew and we got screwed and cut and nailed

Then out of nowhere invitation in gold pen


See the flowers round the altar

See that you too got married and I wish you well


Harvest festival

Harvest festival

What was best of all was the

Longing look you gave me

That longing look

Across the hymnbooks and the canvas chairs

The longing look you gave me

That longing look

More than enough to keep me fed all year


Harvest festival

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