Ruth Wilson in PJ Harvey's video for "Seem an I."

New PJ Harvey: Seem an I

Video: PJ Harvey – “Seem an I”

Directed by Colm Bairead. From I Inside the Old Year Dying, out now on Partisan.

When I first heard this song my inclination was that it must be adapted from a Robert Burns poem or some other barely English literary source. The sounds of the words are emotionally evocative on their own, but thankfully PJ Harvey provides a glossary in the lyrics section of her website.

Seem an I – seems to me; bedraggled angels – wet sheep; blether – to bleat or blare much, take noisily; bwoneyard – graveyard, churchyard; rangle – to reach about like a trailing or climbing plant; archet – orchard; conzum-ed – consumed; twanketen – melancholy; dummet – dusk; zun – sun; wordle – world; lwone – lone; quartere’il – a disease of sheep, a corruption of the blood; vog – fog; devil’s bird, chattermag – magpie; chilver hog – a yearling ewe lamb; fleecy – fleece; drunk, drunken; nuts – joy, testicles; reapy – reap

So now you know!

The video stars English actress Ruth Wilson. Harvey says, “Ruth and I became friends after working together on Clio Barnard’s film ‘Dark River’. I have always greatly admired Ruth’s work as an actor, so had long harboured a dream that we might work together again in some way. When the opportunity to work with Colm Bairéad came up I knew him to be a director Ruth thought highly of, as I did, so it felt right to ask her if she would star in the film. I find the resulting short film beautiful and moving for having Ruth’s magical presence, and Colm’s unique vision.”

Wilson says, “I have always been a huge fan of PJ, so it was a great privilege to work alongside Colm and Polly to bring ‘Seem an I’ to visual life in this mysterious and hypnotic short film. There is no better way to spend a day than in the magical world of PJ Harvey.”

PJ Harvey: web, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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