Zarathustra vs Bow Wow Wow

Thus Spoke Zarathustra – First Part – Chapter 1: ‘On the Three Transformations’ III
vs “Why Are Babies So Wise?”, Bow Wow Wow (See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang, Yeah. City All Over! Go Ape Crazy, 1981)

In ‘On the Three Transformations’ we encounter the transformation from camel to lion, and from lion to a child: ‘Three transformations of the spirit I name for you’. Each deserves its own track. Here, the child.

Why a child? Why must we – for Nietzsche – become like a child? This is the same question asked, and answered, by Annabella Lwin in Bow Wow Wow’s “Why are Babies So Wise?” Taken from the still-brilliant album See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang, Yeah. City All Over! Go Ape Crazy, this track combines their signature tom-tom Burundi beat and Zulu guitar-bass lines with disco and funk stylings.


Instead of a third sung verse, Lwin intones: ‘Babies are not fake, babies may make many mistakes / Baby is brave, baby is wise / Got new brain, got no lies / Got new heart, baby’s not soft / Babies learn at a very high cost.’ Similarly, for Zarathustra, ‘Innocence the child is, and forgetting, a beginning anew, a play,’ no carrying the weight of the world like the camel. A ‘sacred Yea-saying’ – compared with the lion’s Nay-saying and destructive path – and the ‘play of creating’. And, in one of Nietzsche’s finest phrases: ‘a self-propelling wheel.’

First Part: Chapter 2 - Radiohead

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