Brian Sweet reports: " "Josie" details the return--probably from a prison stretch--of a highly regarded ringleader and all the celebrations which will herald her reappearance. She's a hellcat, a thief, a motorcycle freak and easy with her virtues, but she's also violently loyal to her friends and disciples. It contains another allusion to a Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie composition 'Scrapple From The Apple.' " (RITY, p. 125)
The liner notes of "Alive In America" have this to say: "Mock-sacred intro. Ritualistic. Wasteland. Return of town hipstress sparks healing regression. Fertility. Regeneration. Human sacrifice?"
All I can say is, Josie is the all-out woman I always wanted to be.
No, as usual I can say more: I think "She prays like a Roman with her eyes on fire" is one of the best Steely images ever. Who could send up a more fervent prayer than a Roman, watching her world go up in flames while Nero fiddles and feckless debauchery proceeds all around her? And if a man said of me, "She's the raw flame/ The live wire," I'd be his in a jiffy.
I've also always heard the line "She's the best friend we ever had," which is pretty clear on AIA but not on "Aja," as "She's the best friend we never had," which I like a lot.
"Hats and hooters" shows up as "hooters and hats" on "Ida Lee."
(GB, 4/27/01): In the unreleased SD song "Mynah from China",
["Yellow Peril"] there's a phrase about the world-traveling hero, "with
Josie back home
on his mind." It reminded me that I've heard some military people refer
to 'Josie' as a generic name for the guy who's humping your wife or
while you're overseas. Rather than dreaming about a girl named Josie,
thinking he's worrying about his lady's fidelity or lack thereof.
in the song, he makes a fascinating discovery and ceases to give a shit
about back home.) Anyway, I don't think the name Josie in this context
is a foreshadowing of a later and greater song which many of you have
fife (Blue Book, 11/10/03): I
always thought that Josie
was Roman Catholic, I could actually see her with the lace mantilla on
her head and her rosary beads in hand....
Egil (Digest, 12/13/03): There is also a reference to Greek mythology here: The Godess of discord, Eris, threw a golden apple into a congregation of gods. The apple had the inscription: "For the fairest". To cut a long story short: This apple of discord - or 'battle apple,' if you will - launched the Trojan war. (Thus "Josie" is connected to the beginning of the story that ends with "Home at Last" - the latter being inspired by the tale of Ulysses finally returning to Greece ten years after the Trojan war.)
In The Years, by Brian Sweet
"Scrapple From The Apple" can be heard on (among other discs) "Yardbird Suite: The
Ultimate Charlie Parker Collection," on Rhino Records, mentioned above in "Parker's
"Ida Lee," from "Forward Into The Past." Jeez, I hate to keep mentioning it.
Virtual Light, by William Gibson. There's a character named Josie.