Sister Wendy Forever

Sister Wendy Forever

JūS's picture
Artist Favorite



Liner Notes: 

All of the lyrics were pulled from episodes of Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Sister Wendy's Odyssey, or Sister Wendy's Grand Tour. The words were lifted directly and 99% verbatim (I left out one word).

I highly recommend watching Sister Wendy.

Sister Wendy's Story of Painting -
New York Times Obituary -


Adam is sprawled there in his naked glory
but he's not alive
all he can do is lift up a flaccid finger
and out of the clouds
whirls down the God of Power

after their night together
Mars is completely worn out
he doesn't even hear the little satyres
making noises in his ears, whereas
Venus is as cool as a cucumber
not a hair out of place

but not there for always
not wholly at home
in this beautiful material world

some pictures you can come in kind of thumping
and banging on the drum and say
it's wonderful
it's wonderful
it's wonderful
but others you have to sort of feather

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


fresh spotless youth's picture

Whoa, this just about leaves me speechless. Your music is simply lovely, kind of familiar-sounding while being weird and off-kilter. And then those lyrics: They convey passion and innocence. Some songs you can come in kind of thumping. It's wonderful

fresh spotless youth's picture

Immediately back for another listen. Yeah, I could put this on repeat for a little while, which is how I tend to listen to music. This would have been great with a half-assed arrangement, but you go all in. I love how you end with the instrumental

billwhite51's picture

i like the way you pick up the pace and go full out fifties rock in the second verse, the bass lines really make this song, especially how they carry the old time feeling through subsequent variations of melody and rhythm.

motisbeard's picture

I think it's lovely, and I think Sister Wendy would like it too,

It sounds like something Paul Simon would do if he was weirder.

Fuzzy's picture

I gotta say, jeustan, you are quickly becoming one of my favourite 50/90ers.

metalfoot's picture

This is clever and splendid. Love that ascending organ riff on the verses.

Hooray for quotable nuns to mine for source material for lyrics.

Awesome arrangement here too. Really enjoyable song!

Jeuse's picture

Thank you, friends. I really hope you give one of these magic Sister Wendy moments a chance. I cued up all the parts I mined for lyrics. The links take you directly to the specific time I started writing stuff down.

Verse 1 - Michelangelo - Sistine Chapel ceiling -
Verse 2 - Botticelli - Venus and Mars -
Verse 3 - Piero di Cosimo - A Forest Fire - - "He was a very weird man, Piero. He lived as a recluse (I feel a certain fellow feeling here) but he lived only on hard boiled eggs for which I feel no fellow feeling whatever. He would cook forty at a time and store them so as to waste no psychic energy on having to look after himself and feed himself, which I have a great deal of sympathy. And he used his psychic energy, you see, so superbly, to share with us these obsessive visions he had; these dreamings and wonderings..."

I suspect many o' fawmer can relate to Cosimo.

Chorus - Allan Ramsay - Margaret Lindsay -

special mentions that were almost verses: - "Two great black bulls of male erotic fury, going to explode on one another" - "This is a painting we were never supposed to see. It was a purely private matter between Ramose, the governor of Thebes, and an artist whose name we will never know but whose skill would enable Ramose to do what he couldn't do himself; that is, have a highly successful afterlife." - "Everybody knows the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa but less famous is the haunting face of an unmasked actor. Watteau Gilles, The Well Meaning Fool (also known as Pierrot)." - "...and he saw how young she was, and how lovely and and how brave, and he fell in love, but he'd killed her, and of course in killing her he'd killed perhaps his own future happiness, and this was is A VASE. Think what the WALL PAINTING MUST HAVE BEEN LIKE." - This is the one painting that was referenced in every major syndicated obituary (2018) because she describes the pubic hair as, "...lovely and fluffy." She wasn't a big fan of the picture but not for the reasons you would think. Her Odyssey series is heavier on the criticism than story and history, but the end of her take on this painting brings me nearly to tears. She says, "I'm left feeling, unsatisfied. And yet, I can't why I should be." I feel that so much.

I don't think I've ever revered and loved celebrity as much as Sister Wendy. Maybe Prince. Probably not, though. Long live Sister Wendy.

crisp1's picture

What a cool idea! And the music you came up with to surround the words is fantastic. Great finish!

Remarkable! This arrangement is so cool and right away the melody hits you with something interesting. Another absolutely fantastic vocal performance and great drums. The organ as well makes this such a joy to the ears. Those voices that come in at 1:43 are wonderful! I don't even know how to describe the feel of this song, it's just so unique and nice! Perfect down to that last chord.

Roddy's picture

A great song. It's so lively and fresh right from the start. So many nice and unexpected changes. All the instruments fit perfectly and are played really well. The idea of using the narration from the documentaries is very creative. Thanks for including the links to the programmes.

katpiercemusic's picture

I remember her on PBS. I'll have to give her another chance. I didn't spend a lot of time with her because Bob Ross was already a habit... hehe... I need to make her a habit. The music for this is fantabulous. It reminds me a little of a Jonathan Coulton arrangement, and the atypical subject matter only adds to this. I enjoy your music so much!

Frances Smith's picture

Love the lyrics, they are very visual, and the images you create stream past and leave me wondering what's happening, and I really like that in a song. Sounds great, moves along beautifully, really lovely listen.

kahlo2013's picture

This is fantastic!!! I love this song! Your music is flawless and your well- researched topic is so wonderful for a song. I LOVE Sister Wendy. I was an art history major in college - taught by Sister Helen and Sister Joan. Incredible woman.

the pannacotta army's picture

Love this. A little bit Vampire Weekend-ish
Great bass and organ not to mention the vocals - I really like the autotune treatment on the backing vocal.

ayeahmur's picture

Man, this is inspired. I love a found lyric and this one is a beaut. And coupled with the skipping, fun backing track, it really brings Sister Wendy to life in all her mischievous, madcap glory.