#1: 1607

1607: Jamestown

“Homesick” by Kings of Convenience

Okay, so maybe I’m giving too much voice to my melodramatic emo-roots (also my enjoyment of Kings of Convenience, 2 mentions in 6 posts). There’s an obvious connection:

I travelled far and I burned all the bridges
I believed as soon as I hit land
All the other options held before me
Will wither in the light of my plan

However, there’s another more subtle Jamestownian connection that you can draw out from the first verse:

I’ll lose some sales and my boss won’t be happy

Jamestown was originally settled as a part of a joint stock venture by the Virginia Company of London — their goal was to make money. For 17 years they struggled making any cash come out of the place and it 1624, King James (a la Jamestown) took control. One reason it wasn’t financially successful, other than disease and starvation, was that the dudes who came over weren’t willing to work. They came over because they had nothing better in England, but certainly weren’t willing to work the land. Didn’t work out for them.

Due to these and other reasons, the Jamestown settlers got busy dying. Two-thirds of them died before the first supply ships arrived the next year. During the winter of 1609-1610, things got so bad that 80% of the remaining population died — this became known as the “Starving Time.” When spring came, they tried to abandon the island but they ran into the supply ship and went back. 

Yes, the House of Burgesses, established in 1619, was first representative assembly in the United States. Yes, John Rolfe came along with his tobacco and turned some profit (also he and Pocahontas got hitched). But still, I think it would have really, really sucked to live in colonial America. Chances are more than a few of the settlers felt the same way…

every day there’s a boy in the mirror
asking me 
what are you doing here
finding all my previous motives
growing increasingly unclear

Given the choice, every major historical figure and/or event would be represented by some form of melodramatic emo music. I call it historical empathy.


2 Responses to #1: 1607

  1. dean tuck says:

    awesome pairing. blows my mind what you guys come up with. that album was the soundtrack of one of my summers, and i’d wager that i’ve listened to it more than any other since. good late-night stuff. “stay out of trouble” holds a very special place. glad to see someone else affirm their greatness.

  2. Kevin says:

    I only recently (about a year or so ago) discovered Kings of Convenience. To be honest I don’t know their songs very well but they have a striking effect, which should be obvious given the tendency for them to pop into my head when I’m trying to find a good song for a piece of history in an entry.

    Thanks for the continued comments, Dean. They are appreciated greatly!

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