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Black Diamond Bay

Date: Tue, 30 May 1995 03:03:17 GMT
From: Vladimir Dyubanov (vqd5786@IS2.NYU.EDU)
Subject: Re: Black Diamond Bay/"underrated" BD songs

Jonathan Zimmerman ( wrote:
: "Mr. Brian Magid" (dsc9bam@IMC210.MED.NAVY.MIL) wrote:
: >Joe Duggan writes (re) favorite lines: 4 lines from "Desire" track "Black
: > Diamond Bay"

: >I'm left wondering about the last verse where the "narrator" flicks off
: > the news about the island earthquake, talks about nothin' happening & how
: >it's just another hard luck story, and relates how he never did plan to go
: >to Black Diamond Bay anyway. Any thoughts on this last verse? Inspiration
: >for this tune? I don't think he was sailing his boat then, was he?

Well, I don't have enough archives knowledge to say anything about
inspiration for 'Black Diamond Bay'.  I think that having this last verse
is a kind of mind trick.  The song is, IMHO, about detachment in general.
If you feel it's about detachment from reality through TV, I don't think
Bob was trying to be that specific.  The most of the song sounds like
eyewitness account, very vivid, etc.  Before the last verse, you feel that
Bob is there, even though there is no 'I' from the narrator.  That's why
the last verse hits you.  It is almost like the last verse should be in
the beginning (almost), and the rest of the song is the story dreamt up
from a lousy news report.  However, because these are sort of reversed,
and because in the last verse the news report is taken with a yawn, one
feels 'unatached' (or thinks Bob is saying he is detached).
        Dreaming up such an elaborate story for the place that's about to
blow up-- that's what makes the song really funny.  It's kind of thinking
about some 'Disaster strikes...' report-- gee, I wonder who was at X then,
and what were they doing, even though whatever it was-- it's meaningless
(like that gambler's winning the last bet).
        I also take 'Black Diamond Bay' as a metaphor for "a place that's
about to go down, yet its dwellers go on with their meaningless actions,
while the rest of the world already knows the place is doomed" -- I think
most verses end in "as the last ... leaves" style. I find this somewhat
similar to some ideas in 'Desolation Row'-- 'The Titanic sails at dawn/
Everybody's shouting-- which side are you on ?'. After all, 'Desolation
Row' is also a kind of 'place' metaphor.

Date: Wed, 28 Jun 1995 10:33:36 +0100 From: Luke Whitaker (luke@CS.CITY.AC.UK) Subject: Re: black diamond bay and joseph conrad The specific reference of Black Diamond Bay is to the Conrad novel called "Victory". In the novel, Black Diamond Bay is a disused coal port/depot on an island in the far east (Indonesia/Borneo area). There are elements in the novel that reappear in the song (a hotel, a volcano, gambling, a somewhat enigmatic woman, BDB itself of course) but the song is not a 'song of the book' by any means. In some ways its a bit like a dream version of the book with everything mixed up and in the wrong places. There may be elements from other Conrad novels in there as well - some themes doubtless reappear in many of the novels.