Friday On My Mind: Easter Bunnies

The Morning Show w/ John Richards
John Richards

It’s time again for Friday on My Mind. Our weekly blog post where we look at videos centered around one common theme. This is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News.

Easter is just around the corner, and with spring in full swing we’ve got resurrection, miracles, chocolate, fake grass, colorful eggs, and bunnies on the brain. What do all those things have in common, you might reasonably ask? Quit asking so many questions and enjoy the holiday, you heathen! A quick Wikipedia search reveals the origins of the Easter Bunny reside among German Lutherans, whose "'Easter Hare' originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour at the start of the season of Eastertide.” And why does the Easter Bunny bring eggs? Aren’t duck-billed platypus and echidnas the only mammals who lay eggs? Again with the questions! Eggs, of course, are an ancient symbol of fertility, and Easter celebrations likely piggyback (bunnyback?) on age old celebrations of the Vernal Equinox and the start of spring. Also, some Orthodox churches have a tradition of abstaining from eggs during Lent, and the only way to keep them from spoiling was to boil or roast them, and then break the fast with these specially saved eggs. But we are not here to talk about eggs, my friends, but rather the bunny who bears them. So we’ve searched high and low and under every bush to bring you a rabbit themed basket of songs to celebrate spring and the breaking of the fast. Frightened Rabbit - The Woodpile (Live on KEXP)

Scottish rockers Frightened Rabbit are one of our favorites here at KEXP, so we were excited to have them perform an exclusive show for VIP members at The Triple Door in March of 2013. This song The Woodpile comes from their 2013 album Pedestrian Verse. It was their major lebut debut, released by Atlantic Records. The song itself is full of claustrophobic lyrics yearning for destruction and release. But perhaps the burning of the wood pile, or brush pile, is just the sort of psychic spring cleaning we all need to have a fresh start.

Echo and the Bunnymen - Killing Moon

For our next rabbit song, we hop back to the mid-80s. This 1984 hit for Echo and the Bunnymen is the lead single from Ocean Rain, considered by many to be the band’s best, or at least most commercially successful. Singer Ian McCulloch certainly thinks highly of the tune, saying, “"When I sing "The Killing Moon", I know there isn't a band in the world who's got a song anywhere near that." Supposedly he came up with the lyric “fate up against your will” in a dream, and incorporated it into this brooding song. Rockers Pavement have covered the song, and it was used in the opening sequence for the theatrical release of Donnie Darko.

Florence and the Machine - Rabbit Heart

Our final selection of hare songs come from another English group. It opens with a chorus of overdubbed vocals from Florence Welch. So many layers, in fact, that Welch (presumably jokingly) stated the song was so tough on the studio that, "The guy who mixed it nearly had a nervous breakdown." Welch apparantly sensed big things on her horizon at the release of their 2009 debut Lungs. She said this song is about her fear of the spotlight, of what was to come, and that the rabbit heart refers to that fear. The label suggested that the band should add something a bit more upbeat to all the dark songs in their repertoire, so this song features a more upbeat melodic component, but the lyrics “This is the gift/It comes with a price/ Who is the lamb/And who is the knife?” bely a darker fear. “I must become a lion hearted girl” Welch sings, and the powerful torch singer certainly seems to have done just that.

Honorable Mentions:

Boy & Bear - Rabbit Song

Boy & Bear are an Australian indie rock-folk music band formed in 2009 in Sydney, beginning as a solo project for singer-songwriter Dave Hosking.

Man Man - Rabbit Habits

Fred Armisen and Charlyne Yi (as a werewolf) on a failed blind date. Enough said!

Animal Collective - Who Could Win A Rabbit

A classic tortoise and the hare retelling, but with a decidedly grisly end for the rabbit.

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