You look at the Blond Hero - really look - and he turns into a gerbil.
Ursla Le Guin (1929-2018)
Myth and Archetype in Science Fiction, 1976
Hunters & Collectors[Cut]
The Astral Mix
Oh! So how?
Woke up this morning from the strangest dream
I was in the biggest army the world has ever seen
We were marching as one
On the road to the Holy Grail
Started out seeking fortune and glory
It's a short song but it's a hell of a story
When you spend your lifetime trying to get your hands
On the Holy Grail
But have you heard about the great crusade?
We ran into millions and nobody got paid
Yeah, we razed four corners of the globe
For the Holy Grail
All the locals scattered. They were hiding in the snow
We were so far from home, so how were we to know
There'd be nothing left to plunder
When we stumbled on the Holy Grail
We were full of beans
But we were dying like flies
And those big black birds
They were circling in the sky
And you know what they say?
Yeah, nobody deserves to die
You know I, I've been searching for an easy way
To escape the cold light of day
I've been high and I've been low
But I got nowhere else to go
There's nowhere else to go
I followed orders
God knows where I've been
But I woke up alone
All my wounds were clean
I'm still here
I'm still a fool for the Holy Grail
I am, I'm a fool for the Holy Grail
Why this song?
One YouTube recording of the band lends itself well to be used for natty narration. Afterwards students can guess what the song is about. Apart from having a catchy beat and a signature use of trumpet the lyrics include several useful idioms. On the back of the lyric sheet a crossword is included.
Song Strips for small classes
Song strips are simply strips of card, one per line of the song. Shuffle them up and then give out one to each student. Students take turns reading their lines and asking questions if they have any problems with meaning. Repeat the process until all the strips are given out. Next find the title and put it at one end of the table as a starting point. Make sure everyone has their strips laid out so that all are visible and explain the idea of building the song up together. You can mention that you will play the song more than once. Keep playing the song until all the strips are in the right order or very nearly. Finally give out the lyrics sheet and play one more time as required.
Song Strips for large classes
Either put the students into groups of 4-6 and use multiple sets of strips or make one large set. Students aim to stand side by side and display each line in order. If necessary some students can hold two lines, one in each hand. Alternatively the students can aim to walk past a monitor who has a copy of the lyrics. If someone is out of order they can stand to one side and try again when the song is played again. Either way, make sure to go through the song one strip at a time randomly for reading and meaning before playing the song.
This song is an Australian Rules Football national anthem, up there down under as Jerusalem is in England. Written in 1992 it was inspired by Napoleon's march into Russia as well as referencing the groups sagging quest to break into the US market.
Before going through the strips it may be worth asking if anyone has heard of the Holy Grail. Apart from being central to Thomas Malory's version of King Arthur it also turns up in the third Indian Jones movie so there is a chance some students might know of the Holy Grail even if they don't know what it is.
The version of the song the lyric strips refer to can be found on YouTube, here. As a follow up to the song students can be invited to share their own holy grails or come up with some for humanity. Surviving climate change perhaps?
getfiles: Holy GrailLyric Sheet, crossword & Song Strips:
B5, 8 pages (44 kb)
Put up 25th May 2019
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