The Herd - From The Underworld


“From The Underworld,” could be said to herald the phasing out of the (original) Mod movement - or the change from mod to psychedelia. The lyrics are actually based on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice in their flight from Hades. In Greek mythology, Eurydice was a woman or nymph, and was the wife of Orpheus. While fleeing from Aristaeus, she was bitten by a serpent and died. Distraught, Orpheus played such sad songs and sang so mournfully that all the nymphs and gods wept and gave him advice. Orpheus traveled to the underworld and by his music softened the hearts of Hades and Persephone, and even made the Furies weep. In another version Orpheus played his lyre to put the guardian of Hades, Cerberus, to sleep. It was then granted that Eurydice be allowed to return with him to the world of the living. But the condition was attached that he should walk in front of her and not look back until he had reached the upper world. In his anxiety, he broke his promise, and Eurydice vanished again from his sight. The story in this form belongs to the time of Virgil, who first introduces the name of Aristaeus. Other ancient writers, however, speak of Orpheus’ visit to the underworld; according to Plato, the infernal gods only “presented an apparition” of Eurydice to him.

- i was thinking that perhaps it's about an original Mod who had been through the best times but had then seen the scene start to die as it descended into commercialism and bank holiday madness. And perhaps they were looking for a chance to reignite the Mod desire for style and music through psychedelia, while knowing in the back of their mind that in doing so they had to leave their original love for Mod behind.... Stephen

As well as forming the basis for the Herd song, the story of Orpheus and Eurydice has been depicted in a number of works by famous artists, including Titian, Peter Paul Rubens, and Nicolas Poussin. It has also been retold as an opera by Jacopo Peri, C W Gluck and Yevstigney Fomin, a play by Sarah Ruhl, and in the comic book The Sandman by Neil Gaiman.

Out of the land of shadows and
Darkness, we were returning
Towards the morning light

Almost in reach of places I knew
Escaping the ghosts of yesterday

You were behind me following closely
“Don’t turn around now”
I heard you whisper in my ear

“If you should turn now
All that you won
Will vanish just like a passing dream”

Just on the very verge of the morning
Daylight was dawning
Freedom was but a step away

Now with the deep dark river behind us
What could go wrong if I stayed
Strong in mind?

What was the sudden lapse into madness?
What was the urge that
Turned my head around to look at you?

What was the stubborn will to destroy
The love and the joy I nearly held?

Three times the thunder roared in my ears
In all of my years I’ll see that lost look in your eyes

As, with a sigh like smoke in the wind
You slipped from my grasp into the waiting shadows

So much I longed to say
But my touch found only the
Empty air and a black nights coldness

Into another world you entered
And never again I can reclaim you